AL YANKEE organized his first rock band, in McMinnville, Oregon at age 14. In his 20s he toured for three years with the Stan Kenton Orchestra, followed by a year traveling with Harry Blackstone’s Magic Show. Yankee then spent sixteen years with the US Air Force as staff composer, First Sergeant, and director of the “Jazz West” big band. Memorable performances from that time include the 50th anniversary of Mt. Rushmore with President George H W Bush, and the state funeral of President Richard M. Nixon. His “Stealth Fanfare” composition garnered the attention of the international press when it was broadcast worldwide on CNN.
Since leaving the Air Force, Al has conducted productions of The Who’s Tommy and Man of La Mancha, and has worked with such diverse acts as Barry Manilow, Ray Charles, Roger Daltrey, Harry Connick, Jr., Johnny Mathis, Peter Cetera, and Bernadette Peters. He was honored with a room being named after him and decorated with his picture and life story at the Hotel Oregon in McMinnville in 2002. His music has been commissioned by the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and published with Warner Brothers. He has created several jazz recordings, and his first full length New Thought CD, All There Is, was released in 2010 with a second one due out in 2015. He has been a featured soloist with the Riverside Community CSL since 1999.
As the founder of the New Thought Music Festival, Al produces and hosts this important event and his music is featured on internet radio stations Gratitude Radio and One Vibration Radio, among others. Al is the owner of Legacy Artists and is much in demand as a performer at festivals, theaters, concert halls, and New Thought centers throughout southern California. Find out more about Al and the festival on Facebook. Al is humbled by, and grateful for, every opportunity to share his love of both music and this positive philosophy.