Lord of the Yum-Yum, aka Paul Velat
, is a classically-trained
organist who leads the Berkley-Hillside Presbeterian Church
's choir, and teaches music at St. Pius Elementary School
But he's so much more.
Best described as "Pee-Wee Herman
and Bobby McFerrin
's lovechild" by the Chicago Tribune
, Velat combines guttural scat
vocals, modal forms influenced by Bach fugues and a powder blue tuxedo into one of the most hilarious and oddly compelling live acts around.
Taking the human voice to a swirling trance of doo-wop and monk chant, a Lord of the Yum-Yum concert is disorienting, swirling, beautiful and strange at the same time that it doesn't take itself very seriously. His goofy demeanor belies a serious interest in improvised music, having hosted a series of concerts at Roosevelt University
in Chicago called improvEXPLOSION
since 2001 that help promote improvised music scene of Chicago.
Nearly inexplicable in text, Lord of the Yum-Yum has to be heard if you have ever hummed Bizet
while using the "bee-bop-a-loo-bop
" vocabulary of Little Richard