Jon Anderson is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable voices in progressive rock as the lead vocalist and creative force behind Yes. Anderson was the author and a major creative influence behind the ground-breaking album “Fragile” as well as the series of epic, complex pieces such as “Awaken”, “Gates of Delirium” and especially “Close to the Edge” which were central to the band’s success. Additionally, Anderson co-authored the group’s biggest hits, including “I’ve Seen All Good People”, “Roundabout”, and “Owner Of A Lonely Heart”. If you asked Jon, he would say that he loves the adventure in making music, as evidenced in 50 years of success in the music business, working not only with many variations of Yes, but also with very successful collaborations with Vangelis and Kitaro, and more recently with Roine Stolt and Jean-Luc Ponty. His collaboration with Vangelis produced a number of hit records, including “Friends of Mr Cairo” which was groundbreaking in its use of narrative voiceover, creating a phenomena that was copied by many artists and producers, most notably Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones with “Thriller”. As Jon would say, “We all copy each others musical dreams, it’s the cross-pollenization of music that keeps the world spinning around”.
In the mid 70’s he created a pure solo album, in every sense of the word: performing all the music, playing every instrument, writing a storyline, and of course singing all the vocals in the critically acclaimed “Olias of Sunhillow”… a milestone in recording and adventurous creativity. You only need to look at his output of solo albums over the years to see how inventive his life in music has been, from “Animation” to “Song of Seven”, “Three Ships” to “Toltec”, “City of Angels” to “The More You Know”, to name just a few. All of these albums marked his own progression and adventure through music…leading up to 2009 following his near death, the release of the life affirming album “Survival and Other Stories”.
In 2015, Jon partnered with his dear friend, world renowned jazz violinist Jean Luc Ponty, creating a wonderful fusion of jazz and progressive rock in the album “Better Late than Never”. In 2016, Jon joined forces with well known prog rock guitarist and producer Roine Stolt, to create “Invention of Knowledge”, an album with reached great acclaim with critics and fans alike. In 2017 Jon reformed YES with former band members Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman … YES Featuring ARW has toured the world to rave reviews and is releasing “Live At The Apollo” CD/DVD in September 2018.
Never to stand still musically, he is currently releasing an album he started 29 years ago, now called “1,000 Hands” a reference to the fact that numerous guest musicians perform on the album, including Ian Anderson, Billy Cobham, Jean Luc Ponty, Chick Corea, Zap Momma, Chris Squire, Alan White Steve Howe and many more. This album produced by his friend Michael Franklin really speaks to the power of a musical life still in the throes of a fervent artistic endeavor, always wanting new experiences in music, always wanting to surprise the listener. The album is scheduled for release in 2020.
Finally, in Jon’s words: “Music is our spiritual connection to the soul, that’s why people all over the world connect to Music and to each other through Music”.
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