Guest musician:
2004 Ayreon - synthesizers  


Personal information

Born on: 26.02.1972

Oliver Wakeman (26 February 1972) is a rock keyboardist, best known as a member of Yes, where he replaced his father, Rick Wakeman.

Biography

Oliver is the first son of Rick Wakeman, but his parents divorced when he was young.

He worked with Clive Nolan (of Arena) on two progressive rock concept albums, Jabberwocky (released 1999) and Hound of the Baskervilles. Tracy Hitchings appears on both albums, while Rick Wakeman (narrating) and Yes alumnus Peter Banks both appeared on Jabberwocky.

For several years Wakeman has worked with Steve Howe, his father's bandmate in Yes. The two live fairly close to each other in south-west England. Howe guested on Wakeman's solo album The 3 Ages of Magick, while Wakeman is on Howe's 2005 solo album Spectrum and contributed to Howe's recording of "Australia" for the US version of the Yes collection The Ultimate Yes: 35th Anniversary Collection.

Wakeman has written a CD inspired by his visits to and experiences on Lundy, a small island in the Bristol Channel. He has toured with Bob Catley and also guested on an Ayreon project in 2004. Wakeman replaced keyboardist Herb Schildt for the American progressive rock band Starcastle, known for their Yes-like sound, at RoSfest (Rites of Spring festival) 2007.

Yes

In 2008, the official Yes website announced that Oliver Wakeman would tour with Yes in the bands 40th anniversary tour. However, the tour was postponed due to the illness of Yes singer Jon Anderson. A revamped In The Present Tour featuring Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White of Yes plus Oliver Wakeman and Canadian singer Benoît David (filling in for Anderson) began in the fall of 2008 and continued into 2009. The second leg of the tour was cancelled after one date when Squire had to have an urgent leg operation on 11 February.

The band returned to touring in summer 2009 and have continued through to summer 2010. They have signed to Frontiers Records, an Italian record company. Yes started work on an album, with Wakeman, in October/November 2010 followed by a tour of South America in November/December of that year. Though he worked with the band on the initial sessions for their first album in 10 years,"Fly From Here", he was dismissed from Yes during recording. Wakeman stayed on for the Rite of Spring tour (March to early April 2011) and has formally left following its completion. Asia and Drama era Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes, who replaced Wakeman for the rest of the album's sessions, was later announced by as keyboardist for its upcoming summer tour. Some of Wakeman's contributions to Fly From Here nevertheless made it onto the released version of the album, and he was even credited as having co-written one track.

Strawbs

In 2009, Wakeman joined Strawbs (another of his father's former bands) in their tours of Canada, the UK and Italy. He continued with the band, his first album with the band being Dancing to the Devil's Beat, recorded and released in 2009. Wakeman will not be with the band for their late 2010 touring given his prior commitment to recording with Yes.