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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 4, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 36
JUST BE KOZ: Jazz great Dave Koz is doing everything he wants to do, and loving it
Arts & Entertainment
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JUST BE KOZ: Jazz great Dave Koz is doing everything he wants to do, and loving it

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

DAVE KOZ
'IN CONCERT FOR CANCER'
RED HOOK BREWERY
September 18


If you're thinking that Dave Koz just interviewed with Seattle Gay News, you'd be correct. The world acclaimed musician spoke with us prior to his appearance with Barry Manilow, on the legendary entertainer's 'One Last Time!' Tour that touched down at Key Arena in May. But Koz is coming back to the Seattle area this month, scheduled to perform September 18 at a charity event in Woodinville with fellow jazz artists Rick Braun and Kenny Lattimore, allowing for a welcome second interview with the Grammy-nominated saxophonist. Koz, however, is much more than a saxophonist; he's a winemaker, restaurant owner, vlogger, cruise ship entertainer, and radio show host -a man of many trades, indeed. Thankfully, he's found time to talk with us again and provide more insight on his upcoming special concert, plus his commemorative album, Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection, marking the Californian's twenty-five year milestone in music. Via email, here's what Dave Koz had to say ahead of his performance at Red Hook Brewery.



Albert Rodriguez: You're coming back to the Seattle area for a special performance. Can you tell us about the concert and what it raises money and awareness for?

Koz: It's a special yearly event called 'In Concert For Cancer,' held this year at the Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. I've known this charity for some years -it was started by a good friend named Michele Abrahms after her mother passed away from cancer. The money raised goes towards education, treatment and scientific development -and the idea behind the evening is to celebrate the healing power of music. I've seen that at work so many times in my life. We're really looking forward to this special concert.

Rodriguez: Is the general public allowed to purchase tickets, or is it a private event?

Koz: It is definitely open to the public! Joining me on stage for this will be my two summer touring mates: an amazing R&B singer named Kenny Lattimore, and one of the very best trumpet players on the planet, the awesome Rick Braun. I promise those in attendance a very fun, very high energy, very musical night! You can find tickets here: https://www.tickettomato.com/event/2912

Rodriguez: So, the concert features yourself, Rick Braun, and special guest Kenny Lattimore. Will the three of you share the stage collaboratively, independently with your own sets, or both?

Koz: We all do our own music, of course, but the whole theme of this show is collaboration. So, we're all on stage at the same time a lot. It's the most fun for us, feeding off each other's creativity and energy. And it's what the audience seems to love most, too.

Rodriguez: For any jazz music novice, what are your essential recordings for them to listen to and download?

Koz: I would say a couple albums for sure: Lucky Man (from 1993) and The Dance (1999). And if you love music from the movies -I got to make my dream album, where I took my sax to some of the most beloved themes from motion pictures - it's called At The Movies (2007).

Rodriguez: You just released an album commemorating your 25th Anniversary. Is there any new music planned for release later in 2015 or 2016?

Koz: I am very proud of the 'Collaborations' album, as it represents the very thread that has run through my career thus far -making music with very talented people, and growing in the process! We have three new tracks on this album as well&all of which we will be playing at the concert. I have been writing new music to record in the new year& so we shall see. It's in the gestation stage at the moment!

Rodriguez: Are there any plans to expand your restaurant to another location, possibly the Northwest?

Koz: Well, we'd love to expand&but we're very focused at the moment on becoming a success in Beverly Hills. The restaurant business is an ever-changing, complicated nut to crack -it's been inspiring and challenging, but very rewarding. We've been having a blast -the food is incredible, and we've had some of the most transformational nights of music on our stage as well. It's the whole experience&eating great, then sitting back and enjoying the last course: MUSIC! Our hope is for it to become a lasting fixture on the restaurant scene in Los Angeles, and then go from there. I'd love to have one up in Seattle, 'cause that would mean spending more time up there -and I LOVE the Northwest!

Rodriguez: Do you ever perform covers of mega pop hits, like 'Uptown Funk,' 'Shake It Off,' or 'Drunk in Love'?

Koz: 'Uptown Funk' has a great horn riff! I love taking modern pop and R&B songs and turning them into funky instrumentals. I've done that a ton in years passed -and always try to throw some twists like this into our live show. It's all about taking the familiar and turning it on its ear. I've found that when people at least know the song, they're a lot more willing to go along for the ride with you. I'd expect more of that in the future for me.

Rodriguez: Lots of musicians are from Seattle. Do you have a favorite Seattle artist or band?

Koz: No place else can credit being the starting point for musicians as diverse as Nirvana and Kenny G! Only Seattle. I love and respect Dave Grohl so much. I think he's an amazing visionary, and an incredibly good human being. But for me, it'd have to be Quincy Jones. Even though he wasn't born in Seattle, he spent his seminal years there, and credits the city a lot for his endless creativity. He's an icon, and proud to say, good friend for years.

Rodriguez: Will you have time on this particular trip to walk around Seattle, possibly go to Pike Place Market?

Koz: No trip to Seattle is complete without a walk around Pike Place Market. And I used to love going to get fried clams at Ivars&but they closed the stand on the wharf, so I have to find another place to get my fix! So much great food there, and so much to see. This time, I am planning a couple extra days to go visit Lopez Island. I've always wanted to go, and never been before. Very excited to see that kind of untouched beauty that only the San Juan Islands can provide.

Rodriguez: Do you like the current jazz scene with newcomers like Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, and Jamison Ross?

Koz: With talents like the ones you mentioned, it's easy to see that the world of jazz will be just fine moving into the future. Robert is amazing. Esperanza is such an incredible talent&and you can't take your eyes off of her. There's also Gregory Porter, Christian Scott, Cecile McLorin Salvant&and a TON of other hot talent on the rise. I think the next generation is in very good shape indeed!

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JUST BE KOZ: Jazz great Dave Koz is doing everything he wants to do, and loving it
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