New York-based pianist, composer, and educator Jason Yeager creates music that is deeply expressive and multi-faceted, defying convention while reveling in the traditions of jazz, blues, 20th century classical music, and Latin American folk rhythms. He has released three albums of original music to wide acclaim, "Ruminations" (2011), "Affirmation" (2014), and, with violin/mandolin virtuoso Jason Anick, "United" (2017), all on Inner Circle Music. This most recent release features special guests Jason Palmer, George Garzone, Jerry Leake, John Lockwood, and more, and was named one of the best albums of 2017 by Downbeat Magazine, having also been awarded a 4.5 star review.
In May 2018, Red Piano Records released Yeager’s fourth album, All At Onceness, a collaboration with visionary composer-saxophonist Randal Despommier. A genre- and century-spanning collection of new compositions and reimagined works from medieval, baroque, folk, and 20th-century classical music, the project features longtime-collaborators Aubrey Johnson on voice, Danny Weller on bass, and Jay Sawyer on drums. In addition to this forthcoming recording, Yeager is working on collection of original compositions inspired by the fictional characters from Kurt Vonnegut’s fiction, entitled “Unstuck in Time: The Kurt Vonnegut Suite.”
As both a sideman and bandleader Yeager has performed at such venues as the Blue Note and Smalls Jazz Club in New York City, the Regattabar in Boston, the Green Dolphin in Cape Town, Thelonious in Buenos Aires, and the Panama Jazz Festival. He has performed and recorded with many renowned artists, including Luciana Souza, Ayn Inserto, Ran Blake, Sara Serpa, George Garzone, James Cammack, Matt Wilson, Sean Jones, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Wilson, John McNeil, Julie Benko, and others. In 2014, Yeager won the 2014 Hot House Jazz Fans Decision Awards for best pianist and best organist.
Originally from Framingham, MA, Yeager was first mentored by extraordinary artist-teachers, including Milton Academy's jazz director, bassist Bob Sinicrope, and pianists Dan Loschen and Kyle Aho. Subsequently, Jason studied with master musicians Fred Hersch, Danilo Perez, Ran Blake, Frank Carlberg, Jerry Bergonzi, Jerry Leake and John McNeil. He graduated from the Tufts University/New England Conservatory Double Degree Program summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda, with degrees in International Relations from Tufts and Jazz Performance from NEC. In 2012, Yeager joined the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music. Continually seeking ways to integrate his interests in social justice, international affairs, and the mobilization of art to affect positive change in the world, Yeager earned the Master of Music degree at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute (BGJI), while continuing to teach in Berklee's Piano Department. The BGJI operates under the artistic direction of Grammy-winning pianist/composer and UNESCO Artist for Peace Danilo Perez, and features award-winning artists and faculty like Joe Lovano, John Patitucci, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ben Street, and Adam Cruz.
“An incredible composer and musician…[who] surprises you like a thunderbolt." -Ran Blake, pianist/composer and MacArthur Grant recipient
“...[Jason] always impressed me with his talent, his curiosity and his desire to create his own music while really investigating the jazz piano tradition.” -Fred Hersch, Grammy-nominated pianist/composer and Doris Duke Fellow
“The evidence is clear on Affirmation, his second outing on…Inner Circle Music....With a highly interactive trio...Yeager stakes out his own unique territory…” -Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine