Guitarist Jim Yanda grew up as the youngest son of a dairy farming family near Anamosa, Iowa. His earliest professional experiences included performing western swing music in regional dance halls. By the time he was in high school, gigging garage Rock bands added to his stylistic influences, as Yanda fell in love with guitarists Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. He graduated from Coe College in 1982, where he was introduced to jazz and avant garde 20th Century music by maverick trumpeter & university mentor, Paul Smoker. Yanda then spent time in Chicago’s jazz scene for several years before moving to New York to live and work with longtime roommate, Phil Haynes. Since that time, Yanda has recorded his own music on Regional Cookin’, released recordings with Phil Haynes & Free Country, Damon Short, and Herb Robertson.