Watch Steve Vai and Yvette Young share the stage for an ‘80s-flavored jam at Vai Academy 6.0

Yvette Young and Steve Vai on stage
(Image credit: Yvette Young/Instagram)

Earlier this month, Steve Vai hosted the latest installment of his yearly electric guitar tuition camp – Vai Academy 6.0 – for which he recruited Nuno Bettencourt, Guthrie Govan and more for “four days of non-stop guitar.” 

Among the list of guest tutors was Covet guitarist and fingerstyle virtuoso Yvette Young, who shared the bill with Billy Sheehan, Joe Robinson, Larry Mitchell and more to offer intimate breakout workshops.

The event also included informal nightly performances, footage from which has now been shared by Young, who posted a throwback clip of them sharing the stage with Vai himself for a decidedly ‘80s-flavored jam.

“Throwback to the time the masterful Steve Vai laid down some beautiful soaring harmonies over a song at Vai Academy,” Young wrote in the accompanying caption. “It was a gift getting to play together. Hope it’s not the last.”

There are no prizes for guessing what model each player is wielding in the jam – the Ibanez signature artists don their respective Slime Green YY10 and White JEM signature guitars – which sees Young hold down backing duties with characteristically effortless fingerstyle work.

That gives Vai freedom to decorate the feel-good chord progression with some classically Vai-style noodles of his own. Favoring vocal lead lines and melodic passages over mind-melting scale runs and legato licks, Vai serves up a sustain-laden solo assembled from plenty of bends and emotive note holds.

Young’s guitar tone weaves nicely throughout, too, and while chords and arpeggio-style motifs are firmly on the agenda, the math rock hero delivers some irresistible licks of their own – most notably those chorus-tinged intro licks and gritty bends at the end.

Earlier this year, Vai heaped praise on Young by including them in his list of five contemporary guitarists who are taking the instrument to the next level.

“Yvette [of Covet] is just a wildly artistic person from head to toe,” he said. “Her guitar playing and the things she comes up with is one aspect. It’s a particular color in her palette. She has this creative perspective that I just find so refreshing. She’s an artist, she paints, and I just really love the energy and the atmosphere that she manifests.”

Reminiscing over old guitar camps is proving to be quite a popular pastime at the moment. Last week, Mateus Asato took a trip down memory lane and shared a video of him and John Petrucci sharing the stage at Trooch’s 2021 Guitar Universe 3.0 event.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.