Yolanda Charles (Paul Weller, Squeeze)

By Thomas Semioli

First call UK session player/ side-woman, clinician, educator (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester) Yolanda Charles’ genre traversing career spans such ensembles and artists including Urban Species, Paul Weller, Eric Clapton, BB King, Roger Daltrey, The Deep Mo, Dave Stewart, Van Morrison, Alison Moyet, Robbie Williams, Jimmy Somerville, Sinead O’Connor, and Squeeze to cite a very select few.

Starting out as a guitarist in her teens, Yolanda tended to pick out bass lines on her instrument. As such, instructor came up with a solution “you don’t want to be a guitar player, you want to be a bass player!” And the rest, as they say…is history!

Yolanda cites Marcus Miller’s work with Luther Vandross as an influence, along with Barry “Sunjohn” Johnson with Don Blackman’s Family Tradition.  Her first high profile gig was with Jimmy Somerville at the age of 18, which led to additional work – to which Charles credits her skills as a backing vocalist as well.

 

Yolanda Charles Sound & Vision

Project FUNK “We Live in Brooklyn” https://youtu.be/0uf7TxX0OEE

Paul Weller:

“Shadow of the Sun” https://youtu.be/Jl8NzFQ7oM4

Squeeze:

“Rough Ride” https://youtu.be/33lKPTFmD0E

Solo Yolanda:

“The Game” https://youtu.be/pTvMoA1GyV4