Biography




Taken at Livestock 2016
Photo taken by Jim Fannon 
Road Waves is: 

Ji Sharp Yehia - Guitar/Mandolin/Vocals
Yo Izumita - Bass/Vocals
Matt Maxwell: Drums/Vocals
Don Letourneau: Keyboards/Vocals


Since the conception of the band in 2014, Road Waves has been moving full steam ahead. With the release of an album [The Lighthouse] in 2015 and two Niagara Music Awards ['Best New Group of the Year 2015' and 'Best Jazz Group 2015'] the band shows no signs of slowing down.

At every show, Road Waves is reaching for the stars and beyond to see what can be found. Although improvising a large portion of the sets and songs increases the possibility of creating unpleasant noises, they accept this risk in an effort to attain a mystical, continually evolving sound, feeling, and emotion that is most difficult to explain. Come and listen to the magic for yourself; accompany them on a wild roller-coaster ride from the macro[universe] to the micro[instruments], looping and spiraling through the vastness of space and time on the melodies of curiosity - their peculiar and idiosyncratic minds constantly unraveling. Feeding off of the energy from the other half of the stage--the audience--is how they achieve the means to articulate their eccentric musings, in turn reciprocating that energy to create a cyclone of excitement, fun, and freedom of thought and emotion.

Niagara Falls based guitarist and vocalist Ji 'Sharp' Yehia founded Road Waves in 2014 after building many connections and inspirations from his involvement in previous local cover bands and arts projects. Heavily influenced by jam bands such as Phish and the Grateful Dead, his memorable and dance inducing compositions provide the groundwork upon which he and his band mates can elaborate.

Local guitarist Yo Izumita soon joined the project, and despite a short hiatus in December 2015 due to conflicting life events, returned during the summer of 2016 to assume his present role as the band's bass guitarist. Sharing similar musical tastes to Ji, he has proven himself equally at home laying down a funky groove or a ripping solo, all while maintaining the rhythmic foundation necessary to keep the audience's feet moving to the beat. 

Drummer Matt Maxwell, also local to Niagara Falls, was then contacted, having been familiar to Ji and Yo from their earlier cover bands, and was able to instantly mesh with his previous band mates. He brings a prog-rock influence and impeccable sense of timing that greatly enhances the band's progressive fusion approach to their music.

Around this time, the band began searching for a fourth member to complete their sound. By sheer coincidence, keyboardist and synthesizer enthusiast Don Letourneau had recently returned to his hometown of Niagara Falls after spending several years in the concrete jungles of Toronto. Persuaded to audition by mutual friends, he responded to their call, and was quickly captivated by their complex and engaging sound. A classically trained pianist with blues and jazz influences, he also brings evolving and unconventional tones to their soundscape via his passion for electronic synthesis.

The group is still young--their history short and sweet--but they have already made a mark in their hometown and are planning many enriching and entertaining events/shows to come. Their music is not just to be listened to, but experienced, so come aboard, and join them on this wild, chaotic and unique ride! 


Road Waves released their debut album entitled 'The Lighthouse' on May 15th, 2015 in honor of the communal home Ji lives in and the community surrounding (Read more about it Here).

They look forward to the winding Road Waves ahead!


Want to contact Road Waves?

Email us at roadwavesband@gmail.com - we want to hear from you!

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