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Saxophonist and Educator Pete Yellin Dies at 74

Founded jazz program at Long Island University

Pete Yellin

Pete Yellin, an alto saxophonist and educator who worked with Chick Corea, Lionel Hampton, Buddy Rich, Tito Puente and others, died April 13 in Berkeley, Calif., after a series of strokes. He was 74.

Born Peter Michael Yellin on July 18, 1941, in New York City, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music and Brooklyn College in the 1950s, then turned professional. In the 1960s he worked with the above-noted artists and, in the early ’70s, became a member of Joe Henderson’s band. Yellin also collaborated with Mario Bauza, Maynard Ferguson, Sam Jones, Charles Earland and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. He formed his own band in 1974, releasing albums as a leader and performing at the Newport Jazz Festival and other venues.

Yellin founded the jazz program at Long Island University in 1984 and was Coordinator of Jazz Studies there until the late 1990s. In the 1980s and ’90s, he worked extensively with Eddie Palmieri, George Benson, Machito, Bob Mintzer and others. Yellin stayed with Mintzer until 2007.

Originally Published