(born 1961) is an American writer, musician, composer, and lyricist. He wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway
musicals The Full Monty
(2000), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
(2005) and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Yazbek was born to a Jewish
mother and a Lebanese
father in New York City
. Musical from birth, he began cello
lessons in elementary school and took up the piano
as a teenager.
After graduating from Brown University
in 1982, he got a job writing for David Letterman
's late night television show. He won an Emmy
as part of Letterman's writing team in 1986, but quit to pursue his love of music. From 1987 to 1989 he was the co-owner of Manhattan Recording Company and wrote many commercial jingles.
An accomplished musician, Yazbek has released four rock albums to date which highlight his unique perspective and wry sense of humor. He has also written many songs and background music for children's television shows, especially those produced for Disney
's cable television channel. He also co-wrote the theme song to the Emmy award winning PBS-TV series Where in The World Is Carmen Sandiego?
with songwriter Sean Altman
, a high school friend who led the show's featured vocal group Rockapella
Yazbek has produced tracks for the band XTC
, and its lead singer Andy Partridge
has collaborated on Yazbek's solo albums. He also has written for or produced recordings by Spacehog