Yellowjackets (band)

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Leverkusener Jazztage, 2015
Leverkusener Jazztage, 2015
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresJazz fusion
Years active1977–present
LabelsMCA, GRP, Heads Up, Mack Avenue Records, Warner Bros.
MembersRussell Ferrante
Bob Mintzer
Will Kennedy
Dane Alderson
Past membersRobben Ford
Jimmy Haslip
Ricky Lawson
Michael Landau
Marc Russo
Peter Erskine
Terri Lyne Carrington
Marcus Baylor
Felix Pastorius
Dario Chiazzolino

Yellowjackets is an American jazz fusion band.


Jimmy Haslip performs at the Liri Blues Festival, Italy, in 2000.

In 1977, guitarist Robben Ford was recording his first solo album when he assembled for his band keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bass guitarist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Ricky Lawson.[1] They were then signed to Warner Bros. Records by producer Tommy LiPuma, who chose the name "Yellowjackets" from a list that band members compiled.[2][3]

In 1984, the band's second album, Mirage a Trois, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Fusion Performance.[3] Ford left the band after the second album, and saxophonist Marc Russo was hired.[1] The album Shades reached No. 4 on the Billboard magazine jazz album chart, while the single "And You Know That" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance. Their next three albums, Four Corners, Politics, and The Spin received Grammy nominations for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. With Marc Russo leaving the band, Bob Mintzer joined the Yellowjackets in 1990 for the album Greenhouse, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album chart. Mintzer remained as a member of the band. The Yellowjackets celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2011 with the album Timeline for Mack Avenue. When bassist Jimmy Haslip left, he was replaced by Felix Pastorius, son of bassist Jaco Pastorius.[3] The band released A Rise in the Road with Pastorius. On some of the songs, he played the fretless bass guitar owned by his father.[4]

In addition to their studio albums, the Yellowjackets contributed two tracks to the soundtrack of the film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Grammy Awards

Grammy nominations



Present lineup[edit]

  • Russell Ferrante – keyboards, synthesizers (1977–present)
  • Bob Mintzer – saxophones, bass clarinet, EWI (1991–present)
  • William Kennedy – drums, percussion (1987–1999, 2010–present)
  • Dane Alderson – bass (2015–present)

Former members[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1284. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ Milkowski, Bill (June 1, 2006). "Yellowjackets: Looking Back and Moving Forward". JazzTimes. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Collar, Matt. "Yellowjackets". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Felix Pastorius' emotional struggle using father Jaco's bass on new Yellowjackets album". Retrieved July 16, 2013.
  5. ^ "Star Trek IV: Original Motion Picture Score". Discogs. Retrieved May 26, 2020..
  6. ^ "Yellowjackets | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved January 18, 2019.

External links[edit]