Born in Youngstown, Ohio, Richard Yeager received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Dana School of Music, Youngstown State University and his Master of Music degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He served with the 81st U.S. Army Band, and Yeager has taught at Youngstown State University, Westminster Colleges as well as Eastern Kentucky University before coming to Missouri Western.
Mr. Yeager's performance experience includes location and road-work with Ralph Martieri, Ralph Flannagan, Buddy Morrow, Les and Larry Elgart, and Stan Kenton. Yeager has done back-up work for Jerry Vale, Maureen McGovern, Shari Lewis, Julie Andrews, Jim Nabors, Bobby Rydell, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Wilson Pickett. He has recording experience in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City and St. Joseph. Yeager has appeared as a soloist on clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, and flute with various bands, jazz ensembles, and orchestras in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.
Eric was born in Saint Joseph and has lived in St. Joseph all his life. He became the Music Pastor at Word of Life Church in the fall of 1991 and considers it an honor to lead the congregation in music that worships Jesus the King.
His favorite music is Jazz. Real jazz. He feels there’s a power in the spontaneous creative process that is so central to jazz. He feels that any style of music can be used to worship the King. So when he says jazz is his favorite music, he is not saying it supersedes traditional forms of worship in any way. When he plays jazz trumpet, he believes he is worshiping the greatest creative power in the universe that is now resident in me – he’s worshiping THE CREATOR.
For all lovers of music, come out and enjoy a great night! Sunday August 4 will feature a great mash-up of Jazz and Classical music, featuring performers from Northwest Missouri.
To open the night, our classical set will feature the talented team from First Presbyterian Church in St. Joe.
We'll close out the evening with a cool set from the St. Joseph Jazz All-stars, a great sextet featuring Saxophonist Richard Yeager, Trumpeter Eric Stark, and several other gifted jazz musicians from Northwest Missouri.
An interview with Ehrich Eberstark, founder of Hannah and the Trailblazers
IE: How long have you guys been making music together?
EE: We’ve been together 21 years now. I started the band in ’92,right after I quit the military service.
IE: What's your sound like?
EE: We’re known for a touch of that Mississippi River, New Orleans vibe, and our Afro-Caribbean side as well. The sound of the Mississippi Delta blues is a big influence, as well as the horn arrangements of the big band leader Sid Karnowski. We also favor a new, up-tempo, funky rhythm and blues. Perhaps this is due to the influence of recordings of American artists that were played so much in our house when I was a boy. They werebrought over by African American servicemen my dad befriended, who were stationed in Germany during the cold war.
IE: Are there any comparisons or influences you could share?
EE: We hate comparisons. Don’t ever ask Hannah this question, or the interview will be over.
IE: Who's the number one top influence on your music (if you had to pick just one), and why?
EE: Probably the Otis Redding, The Gypsy Kings, Kraftwerk, orTom Jones. It’s hard to say.
IE: Who is Hannah, and what trail are you blazing?
EE: Hannah started out with us when she was 6, playing tambourine from her seat in the audience. Of course, Hannah is Hannah Sobiyevski, coming from a long line of Romani royalty. Americans call them ‘Gypsies’. Her parents were huge fanswhen The Trailblazers were just a five piece. They would follow the band to every show in their beautiful vardo (readers: a vardo is the traditional, ornate horse-drawn wagon used by Romani people), hoping to sell a few Trailblazers t-shirts. We’d hear this remarkable tambourine playing coming from the audience, and it quickly became a tradition to invite little Hannah onto the stage each night. Little did we know that she could sing! Today she’s a huge international star. Most people don’t realize this, but Hannah fixed the vocal track on her good friend Adele’s recording ‘Skyfall’ (theme song for the James Bond movie of the same title), just because Adele asked her to – Hannah is that kind of person.
What trails? Hmmm. who knows, who knows.
IE: What is the best part of touring Europe?
EE: The rail system is the best! And of course you can rent a Porsche Carrera for 50 Euros, any day of the week.
IE: Give one word to describe/characterize each member of the band (one word/phrase per person).
(pictured above, left to right)
Richard Pringle (bass guitar) – a proper Brit
Justin Biork (guitars, vocals) – fun, fun, fun on the autobahn
Ehrich Eberstark (keyboards, horns, woodwinds, vocals) – strong as a boar
Hannah Sobiyevski (vocals, tambourine) - the epitome ofhappiness, a positive attitude, and linguistics
Cory Renard (drums) – his favorite saying is “The neighbor’s goose always looks better than your duck.”
Josh Bettancourt (guitars) – the pride of Portugal, he’s a huge Manchester United fan.
Thank you Ehrich for your time, openness, and honesty. We are really looking forward to hearing and seeing you Sunday (6/9) evening at 6:30pm. Look for future artist spotlights right here at ImagineEleven.com.
We'll post regular updates here about upcoming concerts. See the full schedule here.