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Washington State University
College of Arts and Sciences School of Music

Horace Alexander Young


Office: Kimbrough 466
School of Music
Washington State University
PO Box 645300
Pullman, WA 99164-5300
Phone: (509) 335-6271

Associate Professor of Music
Artist Teacher of Saxophone and Jazz Studies

Bachelor of Music, Texas Southern University (1978). Master of Arts, Washington State University (1983). Additional Studies: The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University (1978-80)

For more than four decades, Horace Alexander Young has maintained a career as an accomplished musician, educator and recording and touring artist. He is equally gifted as a multi-instrumentalist (woodwinds, keyboards and percussion), vocal musician and 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, Aaron Horne, Conrad O. Johnson, Arnett Cobb, Laura Hunter and Eddie Daniels. His varied experiences have led to appearances on 100+ significant studio and live recordings and several international tours and performances with such varied artists as- Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins, Freddy Fender, B.B. King, Bobby McFerrin, Bill Withers, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Spinners, The Manhattans, Gerald Alston, Regina Belle, Johnny Kemp, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Ray Parker, Jr., The McCoy Tyner Big Band, Tootie Heath, Bubbha Thomas and The Lightmen, 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, Roseanna Vitro, Brian Lynch and countless others. Through these experiences he has performed in nineteen (19) 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, Detroit, Tokyo, Houston, Seattle, Gent, Cape Town, 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 in various instrumental settings, contributed to two studio recordings, several noted television appearances and two award-winning films.

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 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 Houston Community College (2010-2014), Washington State University (1998-2008), Sonoma State University (1983-84) and Rutgers University (1984-85). 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. He also serves on the editorial boards of the MEIEA Journal (Music Entertainment Industry Educator’s Association) and Jazz Education in Research and Practice (Journal of Jazz Education Network).

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