Gregory W. Yasinitsky
is a Regents Professor of Music in the Washington State University School of Music where he teaches composition, jazz studies and saxophone. He served as Director of the School of Music from 2011 to 2018. Greg is the winner of the 2017-18 American Prize for Orchestral Composition, Pops Division, for his Jazz Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Greg is a Board Member of the Jazz Education Network, is a member of the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of the WSU Eminent Faculty Award, the top honor for faculty at WSU and the College of Arts And Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award. Also, he is the author of the book Improvisation 101: Major, Minor and Blues.
Yasinitsky has an international reputation as a composer, arranger and saxophonist. Yasinitsky's music has been performed in over forty countries world-wide and he is a recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Commission Project of New York, Meet the Composer West, ASCAP, Artist Trust, Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA) and the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA). Yasinitsky has written music especially for David Sanborn, Clark Terry, David Liebman and the USAF “Airmen of Note” big band. Over 210 of Yasinitsky’s compositions and arrangements have been published by Kendor Music, Belwin Jazz, Hal Leonard, Advance Music (Germany), Walrus Music, University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press, Dorn Music, Sound Music Publications, Daniel Barry Music and Falls House Press. Yasinitsky has accepted numerous commissions for orchestral pieces, solo works and chamber music. Selected orchestral, chamber works and solo pieces may be heard on recordings released by Vienna Modern Masters, Arizona University Recordings, Open Loop Records and Washington State University Recordings. Yasinitsky earned degrees at the Eastman School of Music (DMA) and San Francisco State University (MA, BM). His teachers in composition include Pulitzer Prize winners Joseph Schwantner and Wayne Peterson, and renowned composers Lou Harrison, Samuel Adler and Robert Morris. His jazz teachers include famed saxophonist Joe Henderson and masterclasses with the Dean of Jazz Education, David Baker.
As a saxophonist, Yasinitsky has appeared with numerous distinguished artists including Sean Jones, Alex Acuna, Conrad Herwig, Randy Brecker, Marcus Printup, Ed Calle, Kirk Whalum, Lou Rawls, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Louie Bellson, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, Manhattan Transfer, Mel Torme and Clark Terry. Additionally, Yasinitsky is Principal Saxophonist with the Spokane Symphony and has performed as a member of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Oakland Symphony. Yasinitsky can be heard with Tom Harrell, Art Lande and others recordings released by the Musical Heritage Society, Soul Note, Palo Alto and Revelation Records. His playing and jazz compositions can be heard on over forty compact discs including recordings released on his own label, YAZZ Recordings.
Yasinitsky is also in demand as a conductor and clinician, and has presented concerts and workshops throughout the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Additionally, Yasinitsky has been the subject of articles and reviews in Jazz Player, Saxophone Journal, The Instrumentalist, Jazz Educators Journal and Yamaha's New Ways magazines and has contributed articles to numerous scholarly journals. Yasinitsky is a Yamaha performing artist and JodyJazz artist.