Yaala Ballin is a jazz vocalist, based in New York City. She regularly performs with her various ensembles that include duo with pianist Michael Kanan, jazz quartet with guitarist Pasquale Grasso bassist Ari Roland and drummer Keith Balla, the David Berger Big Band and her strings woodwind and brass chamber orchestra. Such diverse and wide-ranging musical collaborations draw on Yaala’s extensive musical training as a flutist and a pianist, and life-long passion for music of all kinds.
The hallmark of Yaala’s performances is her love for storytelling. She takes the audience on a journey of love and heartbreak. Her singing style is loyal to the tradition of jazz legends Billie Holiday, Carmen Mcrae and Sarah Vaughan. Yaala’s unique ability to improvise freely with lyrics, while playing with melodies, rhythms and tempos allows her to deliver songs in a fresh way each time.
Outside the United States Yaala tours internationally, performing in renowned festivals and acclaimed local venues. In recent years, she had the privilege of collaborating with American and local musicians in Germany, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, Armenia, and Israel her home country. She also toured Turkey and Ukraine as a lead vocalist with the “Jazz Ambassadors” program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
Yaala is passionate about teaching and educating the next generation of jazz musicians. Following in the footsteps of her own mentors over the years, including pianist Amit Golan and singer Sheila Jordan, Yaala is passing on the torch of the jazz vocal tradition. She held faculty positions at The City College of New York's jazz vocal department and at the Center for Jazz Studies in Tel Aviv (affiliated with The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC). She is currently accepting private students and conducting seasonal group workshops.