Yusuke Yamamoto (channel U, Golden Monkeys)
Born in Hyogo, Japan, Yusuke Yamamoto began studying the organ at age 5, percussion at age 11 and soon joined a youth symphony orchestra. He majored in classical percussion at Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo. When his interests later turned to improvisation and jazz, he was awarded a full scholarship in 1990 for studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston. While in Boston, Yusuke studied the vibraphone with Gary Burton and Ed Saindon. He moved to New York City in 1995, where he formed the group Golden Monkeys and released its first self-titled album in 1998.
As a multi-instrumental player, Yusuke plays vibraphone, percussion, drums, keyboard and flute. He has performed, toured and recorded with a wide variety of musicians in the US, Japan, Europe, Canada and Mexico. His performances and recordings include the Broadway musical FELA! (2010), Blue Man Group's special appearances, "Strange Love" with Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which became the closing theme of the Disney movie Frankenweenie (Tim Burton, 2012).
Yusuke has produced four albums as a leader, soundtrack pieces for SONY PlayStation’s Gran Turismo 6 (2013) and Gran Turismo Sport (2017), and music for TV commercials. He has contributed to countless releases as a sideman. Yusuke’s most recent release is a solo gamelan ambient album, which features vibraphone and gamelan with synthesizers and electronics. In 2018, Yusuke performed a solo set for the concert series, Ambient Church in Brooklyn, New York. In 2019, he was invited by the Apple store in Kyoto, Japan, to perform and to hold a workshop on improvisational ambient music.
Based in New York, Yusuke continues to produce music as channel U and Golden Monkeys, and collaborates with musicians from around the globe.