Yolanda Charles M.B.E. (Paul Weller, Squeeze)

Courtesy of Yolanda Charles Facebook Com


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. 


For her services to music Ms. Charles was bestowed Member of the Order of the British Empire at the 2020 Birthday Honours, hence her MBE designation on Know Your Bass Player Com! 


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


The Deep Mo “These Times” https://youtu.be/wbNMl1xr9x4



Photo by Julien Fontenelli Courtesy of Yolanda Charles Facebook