Yes Frontman Jon Anderson Announces New Solo Album and Tour Dates


For music fans everywhere, a new album by legendary Yes singer Jon Anderson is ample reason to celebrate. But Anderson’s grand and glorious new solo album, 1,000 Hands, is quite unlike any other record – it’s an event, one which the singer’s loyal legion of fans across the globe have been wildly anticipating for three decades. The album, which will be released on March 31, can be previewed and pre-ordered here.

“I’ve spent long periods of time making some records, but I’ve never taken a journey quite like this one,” says the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee. “To say that 1,000 Hands has been a long time in coming would be quite an understatement, but I’m thrilled that it’s finally a reality and that my fans will now be able to hear it. And I think they’ll be delighted to hear music that’s timeless. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”

Anderson began the album (originally called Uzlot – “it means a lot of us”) nearly 30 years ago, working with a group of musicians that included Yes drummer Alan White and bassist Chris Squire. However, due to his heavy touring commitments with Yes, Anderson had to put the record on the back burner. “Before you knew it, I started getting involved in other projects and tours, and years went by,” he explains. “I would listen to the tapes from time to time and think, ‘This could have been a great album! One day I’ll finish it.’”

Grammy-nominated producer Michael T. Franklin (Bruce Hornsby, Brian Wilson, Roger McGuinn) had at one point begun working on orchestrations for the album, but once again Anderson’s jammed schedule required the project to be put on hold. Finally, a year and a half ago, Anderson and Franklin got the album back on track and were determined to see it through. “Our ideas still matched,” Anderson says. “Michael knew everything I wanted to do and how I wanted the music to sound, so we agreed to go for it.”

Setting up shop in Franklin’s Solar Studios in Orlando, Florida, Anderson laid down backing vocals to his original lead tracks, and Franklin called in an astonishing array of rock and jazz luminaries to fill out the songs: fellow Yes alum Steve Howe, Ian Anderson, Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, Steve Morse, Rick Derringer, Jonathan Cain, and the Tower of Power Horns are just a few of the guests on 1,000 Hands.

“That’s where the title 1,000 Hands comes from, all of the brilliant musicians who played a part in making the record,” Anderson says. “Michael acted like something of a casting director, bringing so many great players. It was really exciting to hear the record open up and become what I had always envisioned.”

The sessions turned out so well, in fact, that Anderson decided to include four new songs on the album, with brand-new lead vocals. “Jon is such a remarkable writer and singer,” raves Franklin. “His newer songs were fabulous, and they fit seamlessly with the rest of the album. Everything came together beautifully.”

Anderson’s celestial voice – one of the most recognizable sounds in rock – is in stunning form throughout 1,000 Hands, an album that features some of his most breathtaking compositions. Bookended by the starkly beautiful acoustic ballads “Now” and “Now and Again,” the record features electrifying new prog masterpieces (“Activate,” “Come Up”), glorious poly-rhythmic wonders (“WDMCF”) and delightful reggae pop (“First Born Leaders”). Listeners will be mesmerized by the cavalcade of sumptuous vocal harmonies on the frisky “Ramalama,” and they’ll be singing along merrily to the horn-driven funk of the aptly named “Makes Me Happy.”

This spring, Anderson will embark on a two-month US tour, which begins March 11 at the Disney Epcot in Orlando, Florida, and will wrap May 12 at the Kaaboo Texas at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Michael Franklin will serve as both musical director and keyboardist for the eight-piece band, which will also include his brother, Tim, on bass, along with drummer Matt Brown, guitarist Tommy Carlton, violinist Jocelyn Hsu, percussionist Steady Joseph, keyboardist Antonio Esposito and saxophonist Chris Charles.

“I’m looking forward to putting on a great show,” says Anderson. “We’re going to do a lot of Yes music and some songs I haven’t sung in a while, and we’re going to do some songs from 1,000 Hands. I’m thrilled to be playing with Michael, his brother Tim, and all of the great musicians in this band. To be able to go out and give music to the fans is one of the greatest treasures in my life. We promise everybody a really special evening.”

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Tour dates are as follows (additional dates to be announced soon):

March 11 & 12 – Orlando, FL – Disney Epcot
March 29 – Lynn, MA – Lynn Auditorium
March 31 – Cleveland, OH – Hard Rock Rocksino
April 1 – Annapolis, MD – Maryland Creative Arts Center
April 3 – Ridgefield, CT – Ridgefield Playhouse
April 4 – Englewood, NJ – Bergen PAC
April 6 – Collingswood, NH – Scottish Rite Auditorium
April 7 – Derry, NH – Tupelo Music Hall
April 9 – Reading, PA – Santander PAC
April 11 – St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre
April 12 – Waukegan, IL – Genesee Theatre
April 14 – (Pittsburgh) Munhall, PA – Carnegie of Holmstead Music Hall
April 15 Wilkes Barre, PA – FM Kirby Center
April 17 – TBD
April 19 – Milwaukee, WI – Marcus Center for the Arts
April 20 – Kansas City – TBD
April 23 – Tucson, AZ – The Fox Theater
April 24 – TBD
April 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Saban Theatre
April 27 – Las Vegas, NV – Cannery Casino
May 1 – TBD
May 3 – Houston, TX – TBD
May 4 – TBD
May 6 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
May 8 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theatre
May 10 – Orlando, FL – Dr. Phillips Center Fundraiser
May 11 – Biloxi, MS – Beau Rivage Casino
May 12 – Arlington, TX – Kaaboo Texas
Aug. 9 – Detroit, MI – Rocking on the River