Savannah Artist, 8-Year-Old Guitarist Forge Friendship Through Music

Sep 24, 2019

This month, GPB is bringing you stories of Georgia music, a lot of them about music history. Now, we turn to the future.

Every musician has to start somewhere, whether it’s a piano recital or singing in church. Guitarist Oz Yakabovits, 8, is fond of playing outside in Savannah’s parks. And he recently landed a higher-profile gig: a gallery show by artist Scott Stanton, or Panhandle Slim.

Guitarist Oz Yakabovits likes to play outside in Savannah's Forsyth Park, where busking once earned him $50 (he's saving up for a new electric guitar), and in the smaller park known as Circle Park. That's where he met local artist Scott Stanton, also known as Panhandle Slim.

"He was playing a Woody Guthrie song," Stanton said. "I had already thought, 'that little kid looks like a little Woody Guthrie,' then he was playing Woody Guthrie, I was like, wow."

Stanton struck up a conversation, and the two became friends. Knowing he was eager to play for people, Stanton asked Yakabovits to perform at his latest gallery show at Savannah's Sulfur Studios.

"It's about doing it because you love it. Ozzy just simply loves to play music," Stanton said. "And I was sure that Ozzy would bring people joy, which people need. And I think he did. It's that simple: bring joy."

Oz Yakabovits poses with the portrait Scott Stanton, known as Panhandle Slim, painted of him.
Credit Emily Jones / GPB News

The small crowd gathered to hear Yakabovits play on the sidewalk outside the gallery certainly seemed to enjoy it.

As for the guitarist himself, "I'm having a blast," Yakabovits said. "It's probably [one of] the coolest nights I've ever had."