Black And White Image Of Person In Band Behind Drums

Evan Yako – 2020 Refugee Week Ambassador

A Passion Project

Evan Yako is an Assyrian session drummer, educator, music producer and creative director of Real Rhythm Studio in Sydney, Australia. His passion project, Healing Through Evan Yako’s Drumming, supports young people connect with the power of music in schools. His first solo album, Inspirational Stories will be released in 2020.

Evan’s passion for world, fusion and jazz music began in childhood and his earliest memories include playing pots and pans as drums. Not being raised in a musical family, Evan rescued plastic buckets from the local neighbourhood to create music. He soon became known for his unique drumming style and before long he was asked to audition for a local band. Evan turned up with his buckets and in that moment, history was made.

Recognised in the industry as a session and studio drummer, Evan Yako has supported local and international artists get acclaim. He has performed in numerous world music, jazz and folk festivals including Peats Ridge, Blues and Roots, Art Not Apart and the National Folk Festival Canberra. Evan has played drum tracks in over 45 albums and performed for Australian and American television including for Sunrise, Fuel TV, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and SBS.

Evan hails from a unique cultural ancestry, that of the Assyrian people. His grandparents were displaced from their Indigenous ancestral territories in the Hakkari region and ended up in Iraq. At the impressionable age of 16, after years of war, Evan was forced to flee with his family as a refugee and arrived to Australia in 1995. Among the first drummers of history, Evan continues an ancestral legacy with a modern fusion twist. He resides in Sydney, Australia with his partner Deena and daughters Melody and Harmony.

Check out all the Refugee Week Ambassadors here.