An original retro-jazz-vocalist with a unique “new-old”
approach, Julian Yeo blends old school soul with
celebrated qualities of today (and sometimes with a
twist). Following Julian's critically acclaimed debut CD
album 'Old, New, Borrowed, Blue', Julian's CD 'Unusual
Passage' is an experience that’s quaint but highly
addictive. His forthcoming albums "Deep Purple Dreams"
and "Homage" are due to be released in January of 2010.
It has been an uncommon musical path for international
jazz/cabaret vocalist Julian Yeo. His path to singing in
the nightclubs of New York City began many miles away.
An Australian of Asian descent, Julian was a shy kid
decades away from his own personal musical heroes like
dapper Fred Astaire. “When I hear Fred Astaire singing
Irving Berlin songs; no matter what mood I’m in, these
songs always bring a smile to my face,” he says.
It’s not surprising that a retro sound comes so naturally
to him. Singers from the 1920s and 30s are what he most
likes listening to: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Rudy Vallee,
Arthur Tracy (“The Street Singer”), early Sinatra and Ella
Fitzgerald, vocalists from the “sweet bands”. But Julian
Yeo is not satisfied to just do a copycat re-creation. “I am
a throwback, I guess,” Julian explains. “It’s a very
intentional homage, but to do so slavishly is rather
pointless. People can still listen to those old records any
time. I want to bring the essence of that innocent,
timeless sound with a slightly hipper, knowing quality of
today and sometimes even with a darker twist.” Julian
brings a contemporary sensibility to the old songs that
works. Today meets yesterday, melding instead of
A real sense of joy and playfulness is clear in his singing. Julian is a guy who’d be very comfortable with a big fedora, a megaphone, and totally at ease in a time warp! The smile comes through and is contagious. Quaint,
perhaps, but also disarming and worth giving into.
Julian Yeo and his Retro Jazz Band are currently
performing at various venues in NYC (Iridium, The
Reprise Room at Dillon's, Triad NYC, Banjo Jim's, the
Underground Lounge, etc).