GEORGE YOUNG - John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Dizzy Gillespie, Madonna


Testimonial

Theo, I've been loving your mouthpieces to the max! As the MUSIC as well as the SAXOPHONE evolves, it's very important to have the correct equipment to enable the ARTIST to negotiate his or her SOUND, and YOUR MOUTHPIECES REALLY DO THE TRICK! When I was embraced in the New York studio business, we used to have an expression that went something like this, (as we would point to our ears, then our "chops") ... "It has to sound good as well as taste good" ... and now, finally, as a result, I can finally say that ... "the Theo Wanne Mouthpieces satisfy all of that, and even more!" Also ... you'll be happy to know I've managed to impress most of my students and colleagues to try and ultimately switch over to your mouthpieces. I want you to know that it isn't difficult to convince them at all. Sorry for going on and on but if you were here right now, I'd toss you many bouquets for all of the wonderful things you have been doing to make our PLAYING LIVES and the MUSIC BETTER! I say, on behalf of my students and colleagues ... "Thank you, Theo Wanne, in every key!" ---------- “Theo’s mouthpieces are the only mouthpieces I’ve played in seven decades with EVERYTHING! Theo's mouthpieces are 'a home run with the bases loaded'!" What a wonderful innovator he is! His mouthpieces provide better intonation, total evenness in one's "SOUND" that covers the entire range of the instrument including the altissimo range. l also must include the fact that Theo's mouthpieces include a palate that also provides the answer to a saxophonist's dream by being able to use an unlimited amount of nuances when necessary. For example, I think that Johnny Hodges would have loved to be able to play on one of Theo's mouthpieces!"

Biography

George Young is one of the most frequently heard musicians of our time. Young plays over ten instruments, including the tenor, alto, soprano, and sopranino saxophone, the clarinet, alto flute, c flute, East Indian and ethnic flutes, and the piccolo.

George has played with Pavarotti, Jagger, Lennon, Brown, Sinatra, Madonna, Gillespie, Tony Bennett, and many more.

Young has contributed to many television and motion-picture soundtracks, including Miller's Crossing, My Blue Heaven, My Name is Earl, Naked Gun 2 1/2, New York, New York, The Simpsons ('03/'04 Season), Sleepless In Seattle, Tootsie, Working Girl, You've Got Mail, Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights, Animal House, Brighton Beach Memoirs, A Chorus Line, Fame, GI Joe The Movie, Ghostbusters, Great Mouse Detective (Walt Disney Pictures), Hair, Meet Joe Black, The Object of My Affection, All that Jazz, Silent Movie, When Harry Met Sally, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off ...more film credits ».

George Ernest Opalisky Jr. aka “George Young”, professional reed player since the late 50's, is one of finest technicians in fusion, jazz, swing, bebop, rock, studio and concerts, and although he is one of the most heard, he is one of the most unknown. A virtuoso in most of the reeds, he specializes in the tenor and alto sax when in recording sessions with such artists and musicians as George Benson, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Martin Mann, David Sanchez, Earl Klugh, G.E. Smith & The Saturday Night Live Band ('91-96), Jay Hoggard, Dean Friedman, Dave Holland and Toots Thielemans and so many others. George has also recorded solo; recorded in the combos of the great Steve Gadd, Jay Leonhart and John Tropea; in the big bands of Louis Bellson and Benny Goodman, and as a leader for both the Chiaroscuro and Paddle Wheel Studios, working with the dozens of artists that went through their doors. George is very respected throughout the world's music industry and by all the heavy saxophone & reed players.
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Inspiration

Why did you choose to become a musician?
It just happened one day when I was very young. I was very fortunate to grow up in a musical family. We would have family gatherings on weekends that featured lots of musical experiences for me at an early age. My dad, uncles, aunts, cousins and I would play and those that didn't play an instrument would sing. It was a wonderful beginning for a youngster growing up with that kind of musical bond. It seems funny to mention but all of the elders at that time just knew that I was going to be a career musician.

What is your experience when you feel connected into the music?
Being connected to the MUSIC seems to only happen when "one gets out of the way" and just lets it happen. This I find to be very true in classical playing, jazz playing and everything between.

What is your experience of when you don't feel connected to your music?
I always seek to be connected to the MUSIC. Even when I'm playing one note at a time or whether it be warming up, playing long tones, scales, arpeggios or a written piece I might be working on. The idea is to always be thinking about the MUSIC. Every sound one makes with his or her instrument should represent MUSIC.

Where does your inspiration comes from? What does it feel like?
I have always felt that my inspirations come from God. It feels like a very special gift that keeps giving when you approach that wonderful gift, playing it with a humble attitude.

What is your experience while improvising? Does it relate to any spirituality you may practice in your life?
First, I listen very closely to all of the other participants I'm engaged with and proceed to find my musical path or placement in the mix of things, then, travel that musical pathway with my SOUND and thus tell my musical story. Absolutely! I believe that the better players and performers all acknowledge the wonderful creator, God, when engaging and sharing their individual Spirit.

Where does your inspiration while composing come from? What is your experience of that inspiration like?
Basically the same place. The better or supreme MUSIC, whether being performed or prepared by a composer, comes from the same place. It's a wonderful feeling that makes me and hopefully the others that are listening, in many ways, feel nourished or satisfied. One might keep in mind, that everyone might listen differently although, there are those same common similarities that are shared by few. I think, the idea is to always touch the soul of not only the performer, but even more importantly, the listener.

Do you have any fun stories of inspirational moments to share?
I have a wealth of stories which I will be sharing soon in my autobiography.

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