April’s Artist Feature: Khabu Doug Young

This month’s artist feature is an amazing musician and creative improviser. Khabu Doug Young is a guitarist extraordinaire and a superb ukulele player. I have known Khabu for about 13 years and worked with him for almost 10 years. Khabu and I have shared the stage and the classroom many times over the years and it has always been both a wonderful learning experience and a fulfilling artistic one.

Khabu is also a real foodie. He is extra lucky because his lovely Venetian wife is an incredible cook (and singer!) Khabu is pretty darn good in the kitchen also. Khabu loves kimchi, which puts him in my good books. We share a love for the Venetian dish Bigoi in Salsa, a pasta dish made with onions and anchovies which I love to make (thank you Elena!)

Khabu has been playing music in NYC for almost 20 years and over the past 12 years he has added ukulele to his performances. He has been involved in projects like his band, My Russian Dragon (this band pre-dates his NYC arrival) with Art Lande, Dwight Kilian, Bruce Williamson and other special guest band members Shane Endsley, Mark Miller and Paul McCandless; SLOG with Brian Drye, Greg Joseph and the late Bob Bowen; and his duo with multi-instrumentalist, Kurt Reber. Currently Khabu continues to perform with Art Lande and now has a duo project with vocalist, Elena Camerin; is a member of The E-String Band (my toy instrument band); and his newest band with Bruce Williamson, Mike McGinnis and Harris Eisenstadt. Khabu also does a monthly show with yours truly and Elena Camerin.

Khabu is a unique music educator and I have learned so much by working with him over the years. Here’s why: I have rarely met anyone as good as Khabu is at teaching students to really express themselves without conscious judgement or ego interfering. Regardless of the skill level, he just has that knack for getting people to open up and discover something about their own spontaneity that they had been overlooking. That’s why when we taught classes together, I always came away having learned a lot myself.

You can check out Khabu’s latest project this coming Friday, April 11, 7:00pm at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Here is the listing.

It is an incredible thing when you meet someone who is as open minded and free spirited in the way Khabu is. I love that he is so willing to go and take any type of musical adventure with you. I feel privileged to play music with Khabu and I hope that you take the opportunity to discover this wonderful musician.

Looking forward to playing with you next month Bhu!

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