Award-winning WSU saxophonist Greg Yasinitsky takes a little time each year to sit down at his computer and digitally mix a birthday song for his daughter.

His nearly 20 years of experience integrating self-recoded vocal and instrument tracks into an ever more seamless rendition of ‘Happy Birthday to You’ paid off big last March when the coronavirus pandemic hit.

It helped prepare the Regents professor and jazz studies coordinator in the School of Music for the challenges of finishing his latest album, “YAZZ Band: New Normal,” in an environment where he and his fellow performers couldn’t actually perform together.

Despite the difficult circumstances of recording remotely, “YAZZ Band: New Normal” has been making a steady rise on the JAZZWEEK 300 chart, which monitors radio broadcasts throughout the nation.

“I started writing and recording these birthday songs for my daughter to learn music recording software, but I got myself into sort of a trap where, every year, I felt like I had to outdo myself,” Yasinitsky said. “In hindsight, it really helped prepare me for recording a jazz album in a completely remote environment.”

Yasinitsky said “YAZZ Band: New Normal” is the result of a lot of trial and error and bouncing high quality audio files back and forth with the album’s musicians and recording engineer Dave Bjur