Formed in 2006 YUKA has been a mainstay in the Toronto soul scene, performing for small and large audiences alike. Notable performances include, TD Toronto International Jazz Festival, Toronto Harbourfront Centre “Hot & Spicey Food Festival”, Markham Jazz Festival, Open Roof Festival and Zamfir Music Festival, to name a few. The band has also shared the stage with the Dap-Kings (Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings), Treme Brass Band, The Heavy Weights and The Soul Jazz Orchestra.
“Yuka introduces Mighty Vocals”
– The Torontoist
“..unstoppable toe-tapping rhythms and soulful refrains, this album sets itself apart as it pays tribute to music of the past.”
– Canadian Beats
“..YUKA have been billed as Canada’s answer to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. It’s hefty bill, but the 7-piece sufficiently deliver on their fourth release.”
– NOW Magazine
Claire Doyle – vocals
James Taylor – guitar
Patrick McGroarty – flugal horn
Ben MacDonald – tenor sax, flute
Scott McCannell – bass
Todd Pentney – keyboards, harmonica
Chino Devilla- drums
FROM THE ANCIENTS (Released April 2016)
The latest release from Yuka (pronounced “yoo-kah”) is entitled From The Ancients, and proof that you can’t judge an album by its cover. Spacey artwork aside, once the needle hits the groove there is no mistaking the seven-piece Toronto band’s deep devotion to the organic sounds that made Memphis, Detroit and New Orleans famous.
And putting the needle in the groove is exactly what Yuka wants you to do. They planned everything about their fourth release specifically for vinyl, and captured their vision on 8-track tape at Toronto’s Magnephonic Records. The album does come with a digital download card just for kicks, but—as the title suggests—From The Ancients is an homage to a musical approach rarely heard these days.
In many ways, From The Ancients is even a rebirth for the band, as it marks the first appearance on record of powerhouse vocalist Claire Doyle. Her contributions to three of the eight tracks, including a low-down funky re-imagining of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” officially ends Yuka’s run up until now as an instrumental-only outfit, and has opened up a new world of songwriting possibilities, and bringing them closer to truly being Canada’s answer to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings.