“A musician with a stellar session career”

Hans Zimmer, BB King, Mick Jagger, Paul Weller, Squeeze, Robbie Williams, Sting, Dave Stewart, Queen, Anastasia, Lulu, Heather Small, Natasha Bedingfield, Sinead O’Connor, Daryl Hall, Marcella Detroit, Pops Mohammed, Alison Moyet, Desert Eagle Discs, Aztec Camera, Gabrielle, Robbie Williams, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Somerville, Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison, Michael Jackson, Laura Mvula, Eska, Cathy Dennis, Leee John, Brian Jackson.

When an artist’s resume boasts of a pedigree like that of Yolanda’s – from Top 40 Pop, soul, rock, jazz, studio recordings, film soundtracks, TV shows, and from stadium tours to intimate jazz club engagements, it’s obvious that we are talking about one of the most well respected, in demand, creative and eclectic, multi-genre talents working in music today.

Yolanda Charles started her career playing for Jimmy Sommerville (The Communards) and then quickly became the bass foundation of various groups in the burgeoning ‘acid jazz’ scene of the early 1990’s including Raw Stylus and Urban Species, swiftly securing her reputation as the ‘go to’ bass player resulting in her remarkable career as a session musician for the next 30 years.

From 2010 onwards saw Yolanda continue to be the first call for many recording sessions and live performances with the incredible list of headline names above – and also became Musical Director for ex-Eurythmic Dave Stewart’s London appearances and feature in the TV house bands for shows hosted by Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs) & Nicole Scherzinger (Pussy Cat Dolls).

In 2018 Yolanda broadened her scope of work accepting engagements with Laura Mvula, Mercury Award nominee Eska, pianist Tomasz Bura’s Jazz Fusion quartet, and the trio of Brian Jackson, Gil Scott-Heron’s co-writer. And as if to demonstrate her eclectic and varied talents, she then recorded and toured with the legendary British band Squeeze from 2017 to 2020

For 6 years Yolanda performed and recorded with the incomparable composer Hans Zimmer touring Europe, the South Pacific region and the US. Working on various film soundtracks including “A Knight’s Tale” “Alfie” “Home” “War on Everyone” & “Boss Baby I & II’ and “DUNE”


Yolanda Charles three project biographies June 2023
Spotify ‘Yolanda on Bass’ – A playlist featuring the dizzying array of legendary artists, and commercial releases she has played on.

In 2020 Yolanda was rightfully honored with an MBE (Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire) for services as a musician in the UK music business. Yolanda is a music business consultant and personal mentor/coach for musicians. She is a guest lecturer, holds workshops around the UK, is also involved in teaching, including running classes at ELAM, ICMP, and the Royal Northern College of Music, and currently teaches at Trinity Laban Music Conservatory.

This ‘High Priestess Of Funk’ (Bass Guitar magazine) is now recording and touring with her double-faceted live projects, namely Project pH, and Project pH Instra-mentals. Both units are built around a core team of equally creative instrumentalists.

Project pH Instra-mentals’ musical variety has drawn comparisons to Parliament/Funkadelic, Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Yes, and Return to Forever, whilst the other side of the coin, Project pH features the superb vocal delivery of vocalists Paris Ruel and Adeola Shyllon, highlighting the more soulful, funky element of Yolanda’s deeply impressive musical spectrum.

2024 also sees Yolanda expand her horizons even further, launching her own record label and production company “NLYC PRODUCTIONS” generously nurturing and developing new talent utilising the many facets and wide range of industry skills and experience she has garnered across her remarkable career. Her merchandising and clothing label ‘Acid Funk’ is being launched later in the year.

Yolanda’s poetry, essays, and spoken word compositions are published on Substack

Her equipment and instruments of choice are: SANDBERG California TM5, Fender Bass American Pro, Elite Jazz & ULTRA basses, EICH amps & Fender Amplification, D’Addario Strings NYXL 130-45 & Elixir strings