Pete Yellin

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Pete Yellin
Birth name Peter Michael Yellin
Born (1941-07-18)July 18, 1941
San Francisco, California
Origin United States
Died April 13, 2016(2016-04-13) (aged 74)
  • Saxophonist
  • educator
  • Saxophone
  • clarinet
  • flute
Associated acts Buddy Rich, Bob Mintzer, Maynard Ferguson
Notable instruments
Alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet

Peter Michael "Pete" Yellin (July 18, 1941 – April 13, 2016) was an American jazz saxophonist and educator. He lived most of his life in New York and later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he had lived since 2006.

Early years and education[edit]

Yellin is the son of a former NBC studio pianist, and he learned his first musical lessons from his father. He began playing in the late 1950s after hearing the alto saxophonist Art Pepper.[1] He turned down an athletic scholarship at the University of Denver and came back home to New York to study at Juilliard under Joseph Allard (saxophone), Augustine Duques (clarinet) and Harold Bennett (flute). After graduation from Juilliard he started to work in the New York area. He went on to earn a Master's degree in saxophone at Brooklyn College.

Professional career[edit]

During the 1960s he went on to work with Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, and Tito Puente; he also worked with Joe Henderson's band from 1970 to 1973. Later in the 1970s he would go on to play with Mario Bauza, Hampton again, Maynard Ferguson, Sam Jones, Charles Earland, and The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. In 1974 he formed his own band and was featured at the Newport Jazz Festival.

As a sideman, Yellin has worked extensively with Bob Mintzer, Eddie Palmieri, George Benson, Machito, Chick Corea, to include many others.

As educator[edit]

He founded the jazz program at Long Island University in 1984, he was coordinator for the studio there until the end of the 1990s.


In the Spring of 2011, Pete had a major stroke that left him paralyzed on one side and unable to speak due to aphasia.[2] He passed on April 13, 2016 due to complications from the 2011 stroke.[3]

Discography as leader[edit]

  • Dance of Allegra (Mainstream Records], 1973)
  • It's the Right Thing (Mainstream, 1973)
  • European Connection: Live! (Jazz4Ever, 1995)
  • It's You or No One (Mons Records, 1996)
  • Mellow Soul (Metropolitan Records, 1999)[4]
  • How Long Has This Been Going On? (Jazzed Media, 2009)[5]


External links[edit]

Pete Yellin Website: