Duquesne University recognizes Darryl in their Alumni Highlights

      Darryl Yokley attended Duquesne University from 2000-2003 (technically the class of 2004, but Darryl graduated a semester early).  Since then he completed a masters at Michigan State university and has had a successful career as a performer and educator.  No matter how far success might take him he has never forgotten where he comes from, and a large part of his development is credited to his time at Duquesne University.  So to be featured in the alumni highlights for the Mary Pappert School of music is something he considers an honor, and he hopes to visit Duquesne University and the city of Pittsburgh to give back to this rich community in the near future.  To read the article featured in the alumni highlights click here.

Ubuntu named track of the day on All About Jazz!!

      Although Pictures at an African Exhibition was released in April of  this year the album continues to turn heads and gain more fans.  The hit single Ubuntu was named track of the day on All About Jazz for September 3rd, 2018.  It also received a 4 our 5 star rating from All About Jazz critic Fiona Ord- Shrimpton who had this to say about Ubuntu:  "Something virtuosic, light and hopeful to keep people together, not as reductive as Descartes...or the internet."

      The track is only up for today so be sure to take a listen if you haven't heard this track yet and if you like what you hear be sure to pick up a copy of Pictures at an African Exhibition!

Black Grooves features Pictures at an African Exhibition in it's June 2018 African American Music appreciation month!


More than a month after it's official release Pictures at an African Exhibition is still garnering quite a bit of attention.  The album was featured last month in Black Grooves where it was listed as a Notable Release for the month of April.  This month the album was reviewed by Black Grooves in a wonderful article written by Brenda Nelson Strauss.  Please visit here to read the full interview at Blackgrooves.org!! Black Grooves is a music review site hosted by the Archives of African American Music & Culture (AAAMC) at Indiana University. Their goal is to promote black music by providing our readers with monthly updates on interesting new releases and quality reissues in all genres─including gospel, blues, jazz, funk, soul, R&B, world music, and hip-hop—as well as classical music composed or performed by black artists.

Album named as one of the best jazz albums on Band Camp!!

      In the same day that Pictures at an African Exhibition was named album of the week by Jazz Quarterly Magazine another accolade was bestowed upon it, being one of a select few albums to be named The Best Jazz on Bandcamp.  Yokley was mentioned alongside artist such as Henry Threadgill, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglass, and Todd Marcus.  Here is a little bit of what was said of the album in the article.  To read the full article click here.

"The combination of joyful tones, heartfelt blues, and deep spirituality is transfixing, and it’s easy to see how this album and some of South African musician Abdullah Ibrahim’s more exuberant recordings might walk off together arm in arm. Yokley brings together his Sound Reformation quartet of pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassist Luques Curtis, and drummer Wayne Smith Jr. with guest drummer Nasheet Waits and a 12-piece wind ensemble. This is the kind of uplifting music the world needs in order to get through these times."

Jazz Quarterly names Pictures at an African Exhibition as album of the week

Pictures at an African Exhibition chosen as the album of the week by Jazz Quarterly Magazine for the week of May 7th, 2018.   To read more about jazz quarterly please visit www.jazzquarterly.com

Pictures at an African Exhibition chosen as the album of the week by Jazz Quarterly Magazine for the week of May 7th, 2018. To read more about jazz quarterly please visit www.jazzquarterly.com

The New York Times features Sound Reformation and Pictures at an African Exhibition.

Darryl Yokley and his band Sound Reformation were mentioned in the New York Time's as one of the must see shows in New York City this week.  The band will be forming at Smoke Jazz and Supper Club on May 3rd, 2018 with sets at 7, 9, and 10:30.  Here is a little snippet of what was said in the article:

"...the music has a hustling, declaratory spirit and a broadly Pan-African take on acoustic jazz, with touchstones spanning from Antilles to the Eastern Cape of South Africa."

-Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times

To read the full article in the New York Time's click here or pick up a copy April 27th, 2018 on news stands!!

Pictures at an African Exhibition receives 3.5 Stars from Downbeat Magazine!!

    Darryl Yokley's latest album has definitely found a home at Downbeat magazine as it was an editor's pick for the month of April and now it is featured in the May issue.  It received a wonderful review and a 3.5 start rating.  Be sure to pick up your copy of Downbeat's May issue today before it goes off of stands.  Here is a little bit of the review:

"New York saxophonist Darryl Yokley launches his vision beautifully with 'First Sunrise,' the jubilant opening to Pictures at an African Exhibition, a stirring album designed to celebrate African music and art.  The album blends travelogue and social commentary in tunes of varying lengths and textures.  Drama is common to these compositions, and while the overall message is upbeat, there is turbulence, too."

-Carlo Wolff, Downbeat Magazine

Pictures at an African Exhibition featured in Occhi Magazine!!

Pictures at an African Exhibition featured in Occhi Magazine!!  

With just three days to go until the release of the album, which comes out Friday April 20th, the album continues to turn heads and is getting more attention.  Darryl Yokley and his new album Pictures at an African Exhibition were featured in Occhi Magazine were the album's two singles that were released were reviewed and made such an impression that the magazine requested an interview as well.  Following up on the editors pick in Downbeat Magazine as well as a favorable 3 1/2 Stat review it seems the word is getting out about Yokley's upcoming album and it is making a lasting impression on everyone who hears is it!  

"While Darryl’s sound is quite sophisticated, his music remains straight-forward and readily appealing, with a particular focus on gripping melodies and intriguing arrangements that lure the listener in perfectly."  To read the full review please click here.


And below is a preview of the interview with Occhi Magazine.  To read the full interview, click here.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Darryl.  Check out the interview below.

Hi, Darryl! Thank you for granting the interview. Your music is amazing. Let’s talk Mines of Diamonds and Crimson and Gold. The arrangement is ear candy! I love it! What inspired the songs?

Thank you for having me for this interview. Always a pleasure to work with Occhi Magazine! With the song Mines of Diamonds, Crimson, and Gold I was writing a song that depicted the darkness of the African blood diamond trade. The workers who undertake that labor has no choice but to do so, and they risk health and life to do these jobs and make barely enough to live, while companies make a “killing” on them….the diamonds and the people if you know what I mean. This tune has very little improvisational freedom in it and all the parts are written out with the exception of the drums and myself for a brief moment in the end. I did this to represent the lack of freedom present in the blood diamond trade, which is essentially a form of slavery. All the tunes on the album depict some characteristic of human nature that we can all relate to on some level and can empathize with. The overall arc of the music is just like the storyline of a good drama– at the start of it things are relatively on the happier side, then in the middle of the album we have the conflict which leads to what seems like an inescapable situation, and then it ends on a victorious note. Or in the case of my storyline an optimistic outlook on the future.

Pictures at an African Exhibition picked as editor's pick in Downbeat for April 2018

Darryl Yokley’s Sound Reformation

Pictures At An African Exhibition

(Truth Revolution Recording Collective)

By Dave Cantor


Designed as a narrative supported by 13 works from British visual artist David Emmanuel Noel, Pictures At An African Exhibition engages in tracing the history of humankind through song.

Based on Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, which the pianist wrote after visiting a museum and used what hung in galleries as a starting point, saxophonist Darryl Yokley claims the concept in order to compose a corrective history of humankind while nakedly shuttling emotion through his instrument. Even if the album weren’t conceptually solid, the large ensemble—replete with flutes, clarinets, a bassoon and a guest spot by drummer Nasheet Waits—convincingly moves through jazz styles, touching on bop, getting free for a bit and exploring big band sounds.

The album opens with a triumphant melody from Yokley on “First Sunrise,” a track that’s meant to illuminate the dawn of human history. Thematically moving across centuries, the saxophonist leads his group through works aimed at elucidating African philosophy and life in a small village, before addressing the horrors of human beings hunting and enslaving each other, and examining the fallout from exploitative mining—both the environmental toll and laborers’ suffering.

Yokley’s compositions—even amid political discourse and analyses of the jazz genre—are strong enough to tie together the seemingly disjointed works of art at the heart of Pictures At An African Exhibition.


                                        Photo by Adrian Montanez

Interview about the upcoming album, Pictures  at an African Exhibition!!!

It's finally around the corner...the release of my second album, first for Truth Revolution Recording.  To read more about the upcoming album read here http://truthrevolutionrecords.com/news/darryl-yokley-talks-about-his-new-cd-coming-2018



We have been hosting a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo to raise funds to finish our second album, Pictures at an African Exhibition. While the fund raising has been a slow process, some good has come of it.  OcchiMagazine has taken notice of the project and did a write up on it.  It is an interview with the Darryl and his artistic collaborator for the project, David Emmanuel Noel.  The two discuss the project, the concept, the fundraiser, and more.  To read the full interview click here and for those who are interested in donating to our campaign you may do so by visiting our Indiegogo campaign website , which is running until March 12th 11:59 PM EST.


  • Yokley In Concert

Darryl Yokley has recently been recognized in the magazine In Concert along with many other grat jazz artists including the piano virtuoso, Danilo Perez.  Yokley was approached to be in this edition for his work on his debut album, The Void, which was released back in 2012 and which garnered interest in his latest projects.  In this edition you can read about Yokley, his career, and his upcoming plans inlcuding the production of his sophmore album which will be released in 2016.  To read the full article please click here and go to pages 14-16. 


  • Interview with Free Fall Jazz


 A few weeks ago Sound Reformation's debut album The Void received a favorable review from Niccolo Carli at Free Fall Jazz.  It was a pleasant surprise considering the album was released back in 2012 and the fact that it is still being recognized as a fresh work is a good sign of the longevity of the Yokley's music as well as the bands sound.  In addition to the review of The Void, Yokley was also interviewed by Mr. Carli for the jazz blog.  Among the topics under discussion were Yokley's background on how he got started down the path towards a musical career, how he formed Sound Reformation, his plans for his upcoming sophomore CD, and much more.  It was a great interview enjoyed by both Yokley and Carli, and it's pretty safe to say, there will be more discussions to come when Yokley's sophomore CD comes out.

      To read the interview with Free Fall Jazz please click here and be sure to check back for more developments as Sound Reformation gets ready to perform in Washington D.C. next month at Twins Jazz Club, as well as getting ready to record their second album.

  • The Void receives warm reception in Italy

It has been almost three years since Darryl Yokley and Sound Reformation released their debut album The Void, and it is still receiving attention from jazz lovers all over the world.  Recently performing the music in Japan, the music from The Void was well received by audiences in Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe, and Osaka, and many copies of the album were sold at each performance.  Upon his return to the states Yokley was interviewed by Niccolo Carli of the online Jazz Blog, Free Fall Jazz based in Italy.  Yokley was asked to do the interview while on tour in Japan, and the interview was released just this past Friday.  With Yokley already looking ahead to recording his second album with Sound Reformation later this year, he found it quite a pleasant surprise that his debut album is still being embraced by audiences and that it is still receiving attention as if it were released just recently.  He hopes this second project will be received with just as much enthusiasm and have just as much longevity of desire among jazz lovers out there, although that shouldn't be a problem with a supportive case with the likes of Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis, Wayne Smith Jr., and special guest Nasheet Waits on drums.

        Please check out this review by Nicollo Carli on the online jazz blog Free Fall Jazz and read about Darryl Yokley and Sound Reformation's debut album and more!   http://freefalljazz.altervista.org/blog/?p=12116.  The Void made it to the international stage in Japan, so perhaps a venture to Italy will be happening soon as well.  Stay tuned!