Horace Alexander Young

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Horace Alexander Young
BornNovember 4, 1954
Houston, Texas
NationalityBlack American
OccupationSaxophonist and flute player
Known forPerforming jazz music
Jazz Studies Director at TSU

Horace Alexander Young (born November 4, 1954) is an American saxophonist and flute player.[1] He previously taught woodwind instruments and jazz studies at Washington State University from 1998 to 2008;[2] he currently serves as the chair of the Contemporary Music Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design (SFUAD).[3] He has performed alongside acts such as B.B. King, Bill Withers, Freddy Fender, Jonathan Butler, The Manhattans, McCoy Tyner, Nancy Wilson, Norman Brown, Regina Belle, Sam Hopkins and Toots Thielemans.[4][5]


Young is a native of Houston, Texas. He started taking music lessons at eight years of age, initially on the piano but he subsequently took up the flute, saxophone and clarinet. He is an adept musician with various skills, including as a keyboardist, arranger, musical director, percussionist, producer, songwriter, woodwind instrumentalist, vocalist, author and music journalist.[1][2]

Young earned his BM in Music from Texas Southern University (Houston, Texas) in 1978 and later pursued a MA in Music at Washington State University (Pullman, Washington), which he completed in 1983. Prior to his attendance at Washington State, he studied for two years at The Shepherd School of Music/Rice University (Houston, Texas), with a focus in Flute Performance and Composition.[1]

After more than three decades of active touring and recording, Young is now primarily a college professor/ music teacher, having taught music courses at various institutions including the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (Houston, TX), Sonoma State University, Mason Gross School of Music at Rutgers University, Douglas MacArthur High School (Houston, Texas) and Houston Community College, Central Campus.[1] He was formerly an Associate Professor at Washington State University, where his teaching focus was in Jazz Studies and Music Business.[1][6] He currently directs the Texas Southern University Jazz Experience Big Band and The Joe Sample Jazz Orchestra.[1] He is Chair of the Contemporary Music Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.[7]

Young has also done private tutoring in music in various U.S. cities and Canada including Houston (Texas), Pullman (Washington), Santa Rosa, Novato and Oakland (California), Nanaimo (British Columbia) and Englewood (New Jersey). In 1997 he developed his own record label (Design Records), which he operated until 2008, after which his recordings were released on the Pacific Coast Jazz label.[2] Young has performed for various events throughout the world including major jazz festivals in Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and Laverkusen (Germany), London, Glasgow, New York, Detroit, Chicago, Houston and Seattle.[5]

Concerts and tours[edit]

Young has appeared alongside a wide range of performers in various music genres. He has done collaborations in jazz, R&B, Christian music, urban/rap, cabaret and other types of music. He has performed with David Ruffin, The Manhattans, The Temptations, Tavares, The Four Tops, Anita Baker, B.B. King, Betty Carter, Bill Withers, Dave Liebman, Rev. E. Stewart and The Stewart Singers, Gerald Alston, Jonathan Butler, Johnny Kemp, Joe Sample, McCoy Tyner, Milt Hinton, Mista Madd, Nancy Wilson, The Ojays, Rev. Paul Jones, Regina Belle, Roberta Flack, Sam "Lightnin′" Hopkins, The Chi-Lites, Scarface, The Spinners, the McCoy Tyner Big Band, Dennis Edwards, Lucy Arnaz and Yvonne Roome.

In 1993 Young conducted South Africa's National Symphony during a concert held in honour of South African pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim. This fete was a first in the region for a Black American, becoming the first to conduct such an orchestra.[2]


Young has performed on recordings for several musicians including Bubbha Thomas, Freddy Fender, B.B. King, Madd Hatta, Abdullah Ibrahim, Regina Belle, Mark Ledford, Texas Johnny Brown and Youssou N'Dour.[2]


Acoustic Contemporary Jazz

In May 2008 Young released his first solo album, entitled Acoustic Contemporary Jazz, which met with positive reviews. Released on the Pacific Coast Jazz label, this album features 12 tracks, including a remake of Luther Vandross's original "Dance With My Father". The album features collaborations with Andre Hayward, Brent Carter, Dwight Sills, Johnny Kemp and Onaje Allan Gumbs.[4]

  1. "Dance With My Father"
  2. "Heart's Desire (In a Very Special Way)"
  3. "Chicken n' Waffles"
  4. "Joan-Capetown Flower"
  5. "Find Your Love"
  6. "Let's Lounge"
  7. "Glory To His Name"
  8. "That Kind of Girl"
  9. "So Special"
  10. "One of a Kind"
  11. "Danny Boy"
  12. "So Special (Radio Edit Instrumental)"

Personal life[edit]

Young was previously married to Phyllis Karon Gooden, with whom he had two children, Victoria-Pearl Young and Alexander Charles Young.[2] He was married from 1985 to 1990 to singer/recording artist Regina Belle, with whom he had a daughter, Tiy (born in 1989).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Horace Alexander Young's complete biography" (PDF).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sudermann, Hannelore (Spring 2007). "An interview with Horace Alexander Young, musician and teacher".
  3. ^ "New Hire: Chair, Contemporary Music Department at Santa Fe University of Art and Design". Albuquerque Business Journal. Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Horace Alexander Young - Acoustic Contemporary Jazz". August 20, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Frances, Susan (March 21, 2008). "Contemporary Jazz by Horace Alexander Young". Jazz Review. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  6. ^ "Exclusive backstage sneak peek". Houston Area Women's Center. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  7. ^ "Musician and Composer Horace Alexander Young Names Chair of SFUAD'S Contemporary Music Program", SFUAD, February 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Ebony Magazine, June 1990.