Justin Young, a saxophonist and national recording artist whose single “Always There” spent 10 weeks on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz chart, recently moved with his wife and two children from Oklahoma all the way to Woodinville.
“It’s been a great move. It’s starting to feel like home,” Young said. “The area has really good schools, so that’s kind of what led us here.”
Already, Young has played at wineries and at other events in the area, and he has several upcoming concerts in Woodinville this summer, including four shows at Obelisco Estate Winery on July 7, July 29, August 18, and September 16. He is also playing at Columbia Winery on August 13.
“Blue Soul,” Young’s newest album, will be released soon, likely in August.
Young credits his father, who was also a professional musician, for much of his own musical success and for his initial choice to learn to play the saxophone at age nine.
“In fourth grade, you could pick an instrument and I brought home the drums,” he said. His father, however, suggested a shift to a more versatile instrument like the saxophone.
“That advice was golden,” he said.
By playing a variety of music gigs, Young was able to pay for much of his own undergraduate engineering degree and later, his entire MBA. He now works full-time at Boeing.
“I’m just so grateful for music and all that it’s done for me,” he said. “It’s what brings people together.”
This month, Young is putting on a fundraiser to benefit the music department at Woodin Elementary School where his son attended. The event, which will include a silent auction and musical performances, will take place on July 21 at 6 p.m. at the Pizza Coop in Woodinville.
Young said his children, ages seven and four, already seem to be blossoming into musicians themselves.
“He wants to play drums, so he’s always banging on stuff,” Young said of his son. “They’re talented, so once we can channel that energy into something they’ll be really good.”
Young is also concerned with helping other musicians learn how to network, find gigs, and promote themselves and their work, things he said he learned only through experience.
“It’s just that no one truly teaches how to do radio promotion, how to do publicity, how to do social media,” he said. “There’s a lot of people out there that are struggling. I think musicians have to find ways to help each other.”
At some point, he said he wants to start a conference that would bring musicians and knowledgeable speakers together to discuss topics of promotion and networking.
Aside from the small band he plays with locally, Young’s 10-piece band called the Justin Young Band also performs nationally. The Justin Young Band’s next concert is at the Chene Park Amphitheatre in Detroit on July 19.
“A lot of times I find that people don’t really follow what you do, but they follow why you do it,” Young said.
“Music has just been a huge gift for me. I just want to share it with people.”
For more information, visit justinyoungsax.com. Young’s music can be heard on iTunes, YouTube, and on hundreds of radio stations across the country, including Sirius XM Watercolors.