Paul Yonemura

Paul Yonemura has been playing music and teaching music for over 40 years. His drum lessons were started by Jack Taylor and David Bauer, both Bay Area drummers. In his teens, he began playing drums in the East Bay Garage Band scene in the 1960s. He was bitten by the music bug and received his Bachelor of Music at Berklee College of Music. There he studied with renowned percussionists Joe Hunt, Fred Buda, and Alan Dawson. He received his Master of Music from Northwestern University 17 years later. There he had studied conducting with John P. Paynter. He has performed with John Handy and Frank Martin, Art Van Damme. Sunny Wilkiinson, Cathy Segal Garcia Kim Richmond, Sunny Wilkiinson, Don Piestrup Big Band. Jon Faddis, Marc Russo. Wayne Wallace, Wayne Bergeron. Jamie Davis. His teaching experience spans all levels: elementary through college. He has taught at CSU Stanislaus and El Cerrito High School, Portola Middle School and Herbert Hoover Middle School in San Francisco. His groups have won numerous awards at music festivals, including the win at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1991 with El Cerrito High School. He is a current member of CMEA and has been a member of the State Honor Groups Committee as well as the California IAJE Board of Directors. Personal awards include recognition from Richmond Unified School District, City of Richmond, West Contra Costa Public Ed, and the City of El Cerrito. In 2002, he received the Gilbert T. Freitas Award of CMEA Bay Section for exceptional teaching and the Gilbert T. Freitas Award for instrumental music education in 2007. He was also a three-time guest conducting conductor for West Contra Costa Unified School district’s Annual All-District Concert, a guest conductor for San Francisco Unified School Division/AIM All-City Music Festival Middle School concert Band, and a four-time guest conducting conductor at Cazadero Performing Arts Camp. He has been active in mentoring Students Rising Above, adjudicating music festivals and guest conducting. However, he is now retired from teaching. Yonemura’s drumming can be heard on many recordings, including Art Van Damme‚Äôs BY REQUEST, Cathy Segal Garcia’s debut album, POINT OF VIEW and four other releases under his own name: FIRST FLIGHT HOME. REUNION TRIOS. COMING BACK HOME. His latest release, Kindred Spirits. His drumming can also be heard on Dale Head’s latest CD, SWING STRONG UP, which features the Rory Snyder Night Jazz Band. from

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