Yascha first started playing the steel pan while attending the University of North Texas as a percussion major in 1994. During his second semester playing lead pan in the North Texas steel drum band, he had the pleasure of performing alongside the legendary Robert Greenidge (Jimmy Buffet, Taj Majal, Desperadoes) who was doing a temporary residency with UNT to teach the group his Panorama composition "Fire Coming Down" for a US premiere.


After that experience, Yascha contacted up-and-coming pan builder David Beery, who at the time was making pans out of his home, and commissioned a lead pan. David now runs "Smarty Pans" which is one of the premiere U.S. custom pan making companies. While finishing school and honing his skills, Yascha performed with numerous bands touring throughout Texas and appearing at Blockbuster’s “Rock Fest” and on MTV's "Week in Rock."


When Yascha moved to Portland in the late 90's he opened Starfish Studios, a music school and recording studio, offering private lessons, workshops for many instruments, and studio production. After getting regular requests to put groups together to play the steel pan at private events and festivals as well as on various recordings, Yascha formed Calynco with long-time friend and musical collaborator Wesley 'Kid' Dameron.


Calynco’s first release “Electric Moon” contains 10 original instrumental compositions as well as a unique cover of Aha’s “Take on Me.” The album was recorded in Nashville at two historic studios: RCA Studio B and Oceanway.


When not performing or teaching, Yascha produces independent releases for solo artists and songwriters out of his studio, travels the countryside via motorcycle, and volunteers as a Big Brother for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.



 
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