After spending some time as a jazz tenor
saxophone player Karl Young embarked on a
career as a physicist and chose to
satisfy his musical yearnings with an
intensive study of the shakuhachi or Japanese
bamboo flute. Over the past 20 years he has
studied with a number of teachers; his primary
sensei are Kaoru Kakizakai and Riley Lee, both
masters in the dokyoku tradition and students
of Katsuya Yokoyama.
While his focus has been
on the traditional solo honkyoku repertoire or
'original pieces' in the dokyoku tradition he also plays sankyoku or
traditional ensemble music with shamisen and
koto, in addition to minyo or Japanese
folk music. He is co-founder of the group
Ensohza, formed in 2006,
specializing in traditional minyo
and Japanese folk dance, in which he
plays the shinobue or
transverse bamboo flute as well as the
He couldn't help wandering back to
his roots and recently worked with
jazz flutist Ali Ryerson on
developing an approach to jazz shakuhachi.
He subsequently released 'Lost In The Wood', a CD of jazz
standards and original pieces in an exploration
of the expressive possibilities for shakuhachi
in jazz. He has recently been playing jazz in
various ensemble formats around the San
Francisco Bay and Mendonoma areas.
In addition he enjoys playing with poets
of various stripes (haiku, tanka,...) and has
played in a variety of
non-traditional settings for shakuhachi such
as with the Ernst Bloch Bell Ringers and the
Anchor Bay Children's Choir.
For his strange views on philosophy/science/spirit check this out.