Darryl Yokley began his musical training on saxophone in the sixth grade and started playing clarinet and flute in high school. His eagerness to learn about music and a strong drive to practice earned him numerous awards as a soloist and placement in a number of honors bands and jazz bands, eventually leading to music scholarships at Duquesne University.
At Duquesne University Mr. Yokley studied saxophone with world-renowned classical tenor saxophonist James Houlik, chamber music with Stephen Pollock (tenor saxophonist for The New Century Saxophone Quartet), and jazz studies with Mike Tomaro. After graduation, Mr. Yokley continued his studies at Michigan State University with Joseph Lulloff, another world-renowned classical saxophonist and jazz composition with Derrick Gardner, associate professor of jazz studies and a prominent trumpeter who has performed with such groups as The Count Basie Orchestra and The Harry Connick Jr. Big Band.
Mr. Yokley has written over 50 original jazz compositions, some of which are recorded on his debut album 'The Void' with his small jazz group Sound Reformation which was released in November 2012 on Artist Recording Collective Records. He has also written for big band, some of his arrangements being played and recorded by the Michigan State Jazz Ensemble II, The Captain Black Big Band lead by pianist Orrin Evans,and The Frank Lacy Big Band. Among his classical works, one has been performed featuring Timothy K. Adams Jr. (former principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony), Christopher Hemingway (alto saxophonist of the New Century Saxophone Quartet), and Mr. Yokley on soprano saxophone. Mr. Yokley and Mr, Hemingway formed a classical duo, Odd Men Out, when they moved to New York in 2009 and they are set to record works written by Mr. Yokley as well as commissioned works from various composers in the spring of 2013.
Mr. Yokley enjoys an active freelance career in New York City, Philadelphia, and the surrounding areas, performing jazz gigs as a side man and as a leader and co-leader with Sound Reformation and Odd Men Out. He has performed with notable groups such as The Four Tops, The Temptations, the O’Jays, The Captain Black Big Band, Valery Ponomarev's Big Band, JD Allen, Jack Walrath, Bill McHenry, and others. Mr. Yokley is also an active educator at West Chester University and Westminster Conservatory.