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Pearl News

03 Feb

Will Kennedy's new partner in rhythm...

Recently celebrating their 30th anniversary as a recording and touring group, the Grammy Award winning Yellowjackets announce that bassist Jimmy Haslip will take a year-long hiatus. The longstanding member and co-founder of the band will use the time to focus on his family as well as pursue other artistic challenges. Bassist Felix Pastorius, son of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius, has been selected to fill in for Haslip.
"The primary reason for my hiatus is so that I can spend more quality time with my family," says Haslip. "I spent ten months on the road last year. The break will give me an opportunity to spend more time at home as well as work on other artistic endeavors, such as independently producing projects." Haslip adds, "This was not a rash decision and there is no animosity by any means. Everybody is still friends and I'm excited for the band and their upcoming plans with Felix."
Reflecting on joining Yellowjackets, Pastorius states, "I first saw the Jackets when I was quite young and remember meeting Bob Mintzer [the band's saxophonist] when he played in a few of my dad's bands and we stayed in touch over the years as I began to get serious with becoming a musician.  Bob and I played together for the first time at the 2011 JEN conference with Jeff Coffin and Mu'tet. I am humbled by the opportunity to step in for Jimmy Haslip. The chair is still his - I'm just fortunate to keep it warm for him. I'm very honored and look forward to playing some music."
Will Kennedy responds, "In an interview not long ago, it was stated that there was something special about this configuration of musicians in the Yellowjackets; Russ, Jimmy, Bob, and myself. It rang true because the four of us experienced so much together. We worked so well through the challenges of creating, recording, and performing the music of Yellowjackets." He continues, "Well, now there is change with Jimmy taking a year hiatus and though we found comfort in what was familiar, it is with great excitement and anticipation that I welcome Felix to the bass chair."

Timeline, the band's recent release and debut on Mack Avenue Records, received two nominations for the upcoming 54th Annual Grammy Awards, in the categories of "Best Jazz Instrumental Album" and "Best Instrumental Composition" (the latter for pianist RussellFerrante's penned title track). The two nominations mark the group's 18th Grammy Nomination overall.