Jonathan Yates was born in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1948. He was educated at Fairway Secondary School, Sandown, and joined the Royal Marines Band Service in June 1962 as a cornet and violin player. Having gained the Education Prize, and the Cornet Progress Prize during training, he gave up the violin to concentrate on the cornet and trumpet.
In 1966 he joined the Home Fleet Band at HMS Pembroke, Chatham. Over the following seven years he served with the Bands of HMS Victorious, HMS Hermes, HMS Daedalus, HMS Excellent, and HMS Eagle, during which time he travelled to many parts of the world, including North America, the West Indies, the Indian Ocean, Russia and Africa.… Read the rest