Pic: Montserrat, West Indies
UK Bassist Yolanda Charles started her career in the music business playing for Jimmy Sommerville from The Communards and within London bands Raw Stylus and Urban Species in the 1990s.
A career as a session bassist followed working with artists such as – Paul Weller, Marcella Detroit, Pops Mohammed, Alison Moyet, Desert Eagle Discs, Gabrielle, Robbie Williams, BB King, Eric Clapton, Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison, Mick Jagger and recording for Michael Jackson with Jermaine Jackson producing. Work from 2010 onwards included performing live with Anastasia, Lulu, Heather Small, Natasha Bedingfield, Sinead O’Connor, Daryl Hall, Musical Director for Dave Stewart’s London appearances, and in TV house bands for shows hosted by Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs) & Nicole Scherzinger (Pussy Cat Dolls).
Between 2014 and 2020 Yolanda performed and recorded with composer Hans Zimmer for the Hans Zimmer Live shows that toured Europe, the South Pacific region and the US. She has also worked on various film soundtracks including “A Knight’s Tale” “Alfie” “Home” “War on Everyone” & “Boss Baby I & II’ and “DUNE”.
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 as part of the Brian Jackson trio UK Band (Gil Scott-Heron co-writer) and joined British band Squeeze, touring in the UK and US throughout 2017 – 2019 recording their most recent album “The Knowledge” in 2017
In 2020 Yolanda was honoured with an MBE (Member Of The Most Excellent Order Of The British Empire) for services as a musician in the UK music business.
In more recent months Yolanda began developing outlets for more of her unique creative expression. She started her own company as a music business consultant and personal mentor/coach for musicians, her insights and knowledge are also shared during live streams on her Twitch channel where she interviews other musicians to share insight and advice from industry professionals to the wider community. She also continues to lecture and hold workshops in music colleges around the UK and is writing an autobiography. Her poetry, essays and spoken word compositions are published on Substack and she is currently recording in preparation for the release of music with her band PROJECT PH. They perform regularly at London’s Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.
Her equipment and instruments of choice are: Fender Bass American Pro, Elite Jazz & ULTRA basses, Fender Amplification, D’Addario Strings NYXL 130-45