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Deon Yates / Press

“Deon Yates, a Detroit native, definitely showed his chops in the grand jam session, and I will say this: if you want to see the mettle of a new artist, throw him on a jam session stage and watch. And Deon Yates is proof like no other that the Motor City is where you go for music. Mister Magic by Grover Washington Jr. is a favorite for most jam sessions, and with all the saxes on stage to take their turn at it for the first jam of the cruise, Yates showed exactly what he could do. While all of the saxophonists on the stage brought their own to the table, to my ears, Yates was the one who left a lasting impression”

“Saxophonist Deon Yates’ latest project entitled Spotlight has that certain cool swagger to it. Writing the vast majority of tunes here, Yates chooses well in terms of whom to invite to enhance his work. For example, the sweet sway and Brazilian leanings of the track featuring Maysa, “Look How Far We’ve Come,” match the catchy and gentle hook with the light and airy breathiness of the songstress. Nick Colionne’s presence on track 2’s “Use to Be” gives this bright, upbeat piece a brilliant hue. His fluid chops are, as usual, sparkling with breeziness. Rountree’s sedating trumpet and the delicious melody and rhythm of “Resaxation” certainly will take the edge off anyone’s stressful day. One track that stands out is “In the Cut,” not because it’s musically superior to the other tracks but because there is an uncanny oneness with the style and nuances of R&B crooner KEM that sets it apart in a cool way. Yates makes his presence felt and delivers well on this pr”

“Let me introduce you to an outstanding new project from World-class Detroit saxophonist Deon Yates that’ll keep you coming back for more. SPOTLIGHT delivers big-time on talent and performance, as Deon’s playing sparkles like a new diamond on ten compelling songs. He brings in guests Nick Colionne, Maysa, and fellow Detroiter Lin Rountree to complement his own impressive jazz chops on a well-rounded selection of mostly original tracks that range from soothing and romantic to lively and exhilarating. When you listen to Colionne’s work on the energetic new single, “Use to Be,” Maysa’s alluring vocals on “Look How Far We’ve Come,” and Rountree’s delicious trumpet work on “Resaxation,” you’ll hear why Emmy-nominated Deon Yates is fast becoming one of the most sought-after emerging talents in jazz today, both as a performer and a composer/producer. As for your personal jazz library, you’ll definitely want to brighten it up by owning SPOTLIGHT! ~SCOTT O'BRIEN”