If you tuned into the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday, you couldn’t help but notice the signature sound of Frédéric Yonnet coming from the bandstand. Yonnet sat in with the legendary Roots Crew and his performance was the same. The energy was amazing both on and off camera – which is actually when most of the music really happen. From rocking out on Yonnet’s own original, “Freedlosophy” to performing Bill Withers “Use Me,” Quincy Jones’ “Velas” and Billy Cobham’s “Stratus,” the studio crowd was blown away. “I haven’t seen that kind of audience reaction in a long time,” said one of the production members.
The Roots featured Yonnet as part of their tribute to Toots Thielemans, the 94 year old Belgium jazz harmonica great who died August 22. Inspired by the likes of Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, Yonnet is using the “humble instrument” as a powerful leading force not just in jazz and R&B, but in hip-hop, funk and rock.
In case you missed it, watch here: