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Thomas Yee

21st Century Musician & tech: Possible ideas and Youtube E-Recital Concept

December 15, 2008 at 7:56 AM


I've been a regular vistor to, reading everything from violin pedagogy to what strings work best on an instrument. I've made my career so far mainly as an orchestral musician & teacher, performing with many groups in the San Francisco area & teaching privately, but I've have been doing with moderate success for some time now my own musical projects which has been a strong passion of mine. I had just completed a recent tour of San Diego and Mexico with my guitarist friend Jose Rodriguez, whom I went to school with for several years at the San Francisco Conservatory. We've released a cd recording of jazz/spanish/tango music that we produced entirely ourselves from the music, cd cover, the program notes, and production.

Now these projects have gone hand in hand, as we've been playing musically diverse programs as our niche to an overall concert-going experience. We haven't necessarily gone as far as to do violin/guitar arrangements of radiohead or anything of sort, but we cover everything from virtuoso violin works (paganini, sarasate), our jazz arrangements with free improv, tango & piazzollas tango nuevo arrangements, classical, spanish, etc. Since 2006 to current times, we've been doing dynamic programs like this, filling very little seats to now having full moderately sized venues & recital halls. Now the public has really responded well and love our fresh approach, which had thinking about how to expose our music further and take it to the next level.

A few days ago, I had compiled together a collection of pieces from our tours and put them together, loading them onto youtube. I then emailed all of my friends & family about the post and went on facebook to let people know of my newly created E-Recital Channel. This had me thinking about possibly trying to either promote music and try to generate a little more publicity. Do you think this is a good idea as far as trying to have students appreciate what we're doing. In fact, Gilles Apap, whom I grew up hearing in Santa Barbara, was a big inspiration of mine growing up, and I had some little girls in the San Diego come to a recent concert of mine and speaking with them afterwards, they were so thrilled to have come and many were not expecting to experience such a program.

I've thought of using this idea to promote our music to management agencies and to make a press packet with our duo bio, pictures, concert dvd, and our cd. Anyways, perhaps those interested can see what we're doing: I appreciate everyone for taking the time to hear my story, as this is my first blog on I'd love to know your thoughts!

Kindest Regards,

Thomas Yee

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 16, 2008 at 1:29 AM

I don't know anything about business but, I find your music very lively and this misses a lot in the classical field. We need more people like you to promote that music (violin) can be fun and lively yet with technical challenges!  I hope many young people will have the chance to hear your music!

Congratulations and good luck!


From Roy Sonne
Posted on December 16, 2008 at 5:31 AM

Hello Thomas,

I checked out your youtube page and your recordings with great interest! Bravo! I really enjoyed your fine playing and your feeling for the various styles! But over and above that I applaud the whole concept of what you're doing. I think we're very much on the same wavelength and I'll look forward to comparing notes and exchanging ideas. For starters, you might enjoy checking out my myspace page  at where you'll find some audio clips in classical and jazz styes. Also you might be interested in the camp that I founded "Strings Without Boundaries" which gives classically trained string players a week of total immersion into non-classical styles.

Very best wishes.


From Thomas Yee
Posted on December 16, 2008 at 8:50 AM

Hi Roy,

Thanks for your kind words and contributions. I do hope that my music projects increase the curiosity and interest of young students and professional classical musicians alike. I feel like the need to broaden one's horizons nowadays is more apparent than days of old.

I took a look at the site and your myspace page, and I'm impressed at how well organized each of your projects are: The teaching, the summer camp, bio, etc. I think the most important thing is trying to make something out of inspiration. I believe many people have good ideas but often times stop short because one or many of the following: laziness, vision, financial investment, time, and persistence. I suppose my inspiration started at an early age from my jazz background as a trumpet player during jr. high & high school, but the classical stayed constant and I went on to train at the SF Conservatory. From then, I discovered tango, and formed relationships with various musicians, and learned from a little from everyone. This is when I seriously looked into playing jazz on violin. As of late, I feel that I've been pretty persistent about sharing my music with the world, and the internet certainly has brought a newfound exposure. I'd like to bring it to the next level though. :)


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