The Story

Mike Yates

My musical story is my continual search to find new ways to communicate through music with audiences, and to expand my desire for artistic musical growth. Early in my career, I performed in numerous orchestras and chamber music ensembles across Ontario. Whether performing cello for a classical recital or playing any instrument I can get my hands on in a rock band, I create no musical borders. My philosophy on music is simple in that I'm constantly exploring the possibilities of all musical forms and styles. 

In the span of 25 years, I've studied music under some of the best teachers, and have shared the stage with some of Canada’s most talented classical musicians and ensembles such as the Sudbury Symphony, the North Bay Symphony, the Sault St Marie Symphony, and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.

In 1997, I completed a music performance diploma in Classical guitar, studying under the direction of Philip Candelaria, and Metro Kozak. I then decided to further my studies in music and in 2001 I completed my Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance at the University of Ottawa, studying under the direction of Donald Whitton. During my undergraduate music studies, I also attended cello master classes with such cellists as Yo-Yo Ma and Paul Katz. 

In 2002, I completed my Bachelor of Education, and currently hold the position of String Music Director at Alta Vista School in Ottawa where I teach String Ensemble, Ukulele, and African Drumming to grades 1 through 8. 

As a native of Midland, Ontario, I've spent the last 25 years in Ottawa, Ontario. Much of my expertise in string teaching and performance is evident in my work as a teacher and performer with the City of Ottawa, the Suzuki String School, and the Ottawa Carleton District School Board.

Apart from being a full time music teacher, I'm also a cellist with the music group Amos the Transparent and studio session player to musicians across Canada and the US. I've released 3 solo albums as a singer/songwriter/cellist entitled 13 Stories (2005), Universal (2006), and Songs for Tomorrow (2008). 

In 2009, I decided to make a departure from the singer/songwriter arena to focus more on cello playing, running training and my family. I am currently performing and recording with Ottawa music group Amos the Transparent.

Member of Amos the Transparent

Amos the Transparent began as a studio project in 2006. Lead singer, Jon Chandler, was sitting on a landmine of tunes with no intention of recording them. A long-time friend and collaborator drummer, Chris Wilson, convinced Jon step into the studio and track his songs. This inevitably led to a 13-song record entitled ‘Everything I’ve Forgotten to Forget’ and was release on Pop Culture Records/Fontana North in August of 2007. The album was well received and put Amos on the Canadian music charts. Notably, the song ‘After All That, It’s Come to This’, was a duet featuring artist Amy Millan, and was featured in the 2011 ad campaign for the website Plenty of Fish. 

After the first album was released, Jon and Chris realized they were in need of a full piece band in order to capture the sound of every song. Amos the Transparent came to life as a 7-piece band and with its members Amos began to perform regularly playing at festivals like NXNW, CMW and Ottawa’s Bluesfest and Folk Fest. 

Not before long, the group’s popularity became apparent and Amos began, and continues, to develop a strong following. The next album brought on new members and new sounds. With the band’s addition of guitarist, Dan Hay, and bassist, James Nicol, Amos’ five song EP ‘My, What Big Teeth You Have’ was recorded in a mere two weeks in Ottawa, Ontario. Soon after its release, the group created an animated video for the single ‘Lemons’ with the help of Ottawa artist Digital Henchmen. The EP hit the Canadian music charts and gained a strong appreciation from music followers alike. This lead to Amos performing at SXSW, Big Sound Festival in Australia and the single ‘Greater Than Consequence’ landed airtime on MTV’s show, Degrassi. 

In 2011, new members joined the group including cellist, Mike Yates, and female vocalist, Kate Sargent. The album release of ‘Goodnight, My Dear…I’m Falling Apart”, was recorded as two separate EPs. Individually, the two EPs showcased both the light and dark side of Amos the Transparent lyrically and instrumentally – demonstrating their artistic abilities in all realm of the folk rock scene. 

The music videos for their singles ‘Sure As The Weather’ and ‘Says The Spark’ were created and, outside of their parents’ dinner parties, the songs hit the charts in style – achieving high praise from the masses. Sirius XM radio made Amos the featured artist for a month and was showcased in the previews for Famous Players theatres across Canada. Other notable moments include their nomination for ‘artist of the year’ at the Verge awards, and being hosted on CBC’s radio show Q with Jian Ghomeshi – wherein Amos was referred to as the ‘Canadian Wilco’.