Robert Yelin was born on September 25, 1944 in Yonkers, New York. At 9, his family moved to New Rochelle, New York. Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley listened to rock and roll guitarists after listening to guitar at the age of 15. Robert began to play guitarist Gus DeGazio, a local instructor who played Johnny Smith's famous Moonlight in Vermont. From this point on, he knew that this is the music he wants to play.
Yelin continued to study guitar with DeGaz, but now he turned entirely to jazz. At this moment, Robert began his wide-ranging recordings in all famous jazz guitars. For thirty years he has been studying guitarist technique and harmony with Augie Lamont and developing jazz guitars, listening to the leading jazz guitars of the day, including Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall and Chuck Wayne in New York city jazz clubs.
Robert Yelin was 18 when he played individual jazz guitars at restaurants, and by the time he was 20, he decided to make his career as a composer. Over the next 15 years, Yelin was featured in several leading New York jazz spots such as Village Gate and Sweet Basil. He combines this career with a daytime job at Yelin's clothing manufacturer. He is also a great director and writer on the guitar. From 1968 to 1982 he wrote more than 30 articles on Guitar Player Magazine and articles for Downbeat and Cadence Magazines. Since 1982, Robert has been a professor at Colorado University where he taught jazz history and worked with the jazz guitar team. In the same year Robert Yelin diagnosed diabetes and muscular dystrophy. Physical problems of such diseases have put an end to the jazz guitar career. With the combination of excellent medical treatments and personal self-discipline, in 1996, Yelin could play again in 1996. Robert Yelin is a unique figure in the jazz guitar world. Besides talented players, it is the audio and video recording of one of the world's largest jazz guitars. His video collection was in fact an excellent source of reference for both scholars and jazz guitar fans.
I was so glad I spent an afternoon with Robert Yelinen at home, Colorado, when I was 35 years old. He has played a number of charming jazz guitar tunes for me on a beautiful Gibson Kalamazoo-winning Archtop guitar he owned. I knew immediately why Robert wrote in jazz guitars as "guitar-guitarist"! The jazz-guitar chords are sufficiently arched under their fingers to say the least. For my part, I played some Bach compositions on Manuel Contreras's classic guitar and really kicked them to hear them.