CHOOSING to pursue music instead of soccer may have been a difficult decision, but international saxophonist Andrew Young made the right one.
The world-acclaimed saxophonist will perform a one- night-only show with his band in Port Elizabeth later this week.
The UK-born, classically trained musician started his training on the clarinet and saxophone when he was eight years old.
"Like most other lads my age, I would have rather been playing football," Young said.
"Time spent in front of the goalposts was as crucial as time spent practising my music and even after leaving school I was still torn between a career in football or music. Fortunately, I made the right choice."
He remains a Liverpool fan and has performed the football club's anthem You Never Walk Alone on numerous occasions.
His South African tour pays tribute to another group of Liverpool musicians, The Beatles, in his show, Sons of Liverpool.
Once Young had completed his studies in London, he moved to Germany where he broadened his musical repertoire to include pop, jazz and funk.
Young has performed with various orchestras including the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, at last year's Concert in the Park, and at the Starlight Classics in Johannesburg in March this year. He has worked with artists such as Joseph Shabalala from Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jonathan Butler, jazz-funk band Shakatak, vocalist Shirley Bassey, Irish flautist James Gallway and American R&B artist Keith Washington.
"I soon became involved in the cross-currents of South African and international music," he said. "Performances from Europe to Africa, the Far East to the Caribbean, have opened a gateway to unparalleled opportunities I never thought possible during those early days spent practising my scales."
Young's debut album Soul People topped the South African charts twice and was nominated five times for a SA Music Award.
Young and his band will be at the Boardwalk Amphitheatre on Friday at 7.30pm. Tickets are R150 and are available from Computicket.