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College of Arts and Sciences School of Music

Horace Alexander Young


Office: Kimbrough 342
School of Music
Washington State University
PO Box 645300
Pullman, WA 99164-5300
Phone: (509) 335-6271

Associate Professor of Saxophone and Jazz Studies

B.M., Texas Southern University M.A., Washington State University Additional Studies: The Shepherd School of Music (Rice University)

Native Texan (Houston), HORACE ALEXANDER YOUNG, is one of a select group of “triple threat” recording and touring artists who is equally gifted as a multi- instrumentalist (woodwinds, keyboards and percussion), vocal musician and as a highly skilled composer/arranger. Although originally trained in college primarily as a classical flutist, his studies in saxophone were approached as a dual emphasis and his subsequent professional career has reflected this as well. His saxophone teachers and mentors include; Hal Tennyson, Campbell “Skeets” Tolbert, Conrad O. Johnson, Arnett Cobb, Laura Hunter and Eddie Daniels.

His varied experiences have led to appearances on 92+ recordings and several international tours and performances with Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins, Freddy Fender, B.B. King, Bobby McFerrin, Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, The Crusaders, The Manhattans, Joe Sample, Regina Belle, The McCoy Tyner Big Band, Johnny Kemp, The Temptations, Bubbha Thomas, Gerald Alston, Toots Thielemans, John Blake, Arnett Cobb, Jonathan Butler, Youssou N’ Dour, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Nancy Wilson, Kenny Barron, George Coleman, Dwight Sills, Milt Hinton, Hubert Laws, Dave Liebman, Norman Brown, Don Menza, George Duke, Marvin Stamm, Betty Carter, Mark Ledford, Sunny Wilkinson, The Four Tops and countless others. Having performed in eighteen (18) countries across five (5) continents his saxophone, flute and vocal skills have thrilled audiences at major Jazz festivals in Montreux, Hamburg, Leipzig, London, Paris, The Hague, British Columbia, Berlin, New York, New Orleans, Tokyo, Houston, Seattle, Gent, Leverkusen and Glasgow. He spent 17 years of that time working as Musical Director and a featured soloist with 2019 NEA Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim, for whom he wrote numerous arrangements for various instrumental settings and contributed to two studio recordings.

In addition to an active career performing and recording, he is also focused on teaching and mentoring the next generation of musicians in their development of a 21st century skill-set in music performance and business practices. Previously he served as Chair of the Contemporary Music Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (2014-2017) and Interim Director of Jazz Studies at Texas Southern University (2008-2014) -where he conducted the Texas Southern Jazz Experience Big Band and The Joe Sample Jazz Orchestra (with Artist-In-Residence, Joe Sample). Prior to those appointments, he taught on the music faculty at Washington State University, Rutgers University and Sonoma State University.

Mr. Young is in constant demand as an adjudicator and as a guest performer for numerous festivals and schools throughout the USA, Canada and abroad. He also performs as a sideman with noted recording/touring artists and as a leader of his own group.  His recent recordings are found on the Pacific Coast Jazz label. As a published author (Improvising Jazz Flute, Music Sales/G.Schirmer) and music journalist, he has contributed articles for SB&O (School Band and Orchestra) Magazine, GIG Magazine, Flute Talk, The Instrumentalist, Flute Focus, Canadian Musician and American Music Teacher.

Horace Alexander Young performs on Selmer Paris Saxophones, uses Vandoren saxophone reeds, mouthpieces and ligatures exclusively, and uses SKB instrument cases.

Washington State University