Local music fans are accustomed to regular visits during the Christmas season by smooth jazz saxophonist Dave Koz. The Grammy-nominated musician is making an early appearance at the Broward Center and he won’t be playing his beloved holiday tunes. (He is Jewish but loves Christmas music.)
He’ll be coming to South Florida on the last leg of his “Summer Horns” tour, with a tribute to the brassy rock and roll hits of his youth from Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears and other instrumental artists of the late ‘60s and ‘70s.
“This is such a fun gig at the end of our summer tour. It’s exciting to come back (to Fort Lauderdale), especially with this project because it’s all about horns, the music I grew up listening to.”
Koz always brings his friends along on tour and for Summer Horns, he is joined by saxophonist Gerald Albright,trumpeter Rick Braun, vocalist Kenny Lattimore, trombonist and vocalist Aubrey Logan and guitarist Adam Hawley.
“For all of us horn players, we never lose the fascination and joy of playing in an ensemble,” Koz explained. “I grew up playing in concert band, jazz band, marching band. Playing in a section is so much fun because there’s power. Even though we’ve had successful solo careers, we never lose that passion.”
His 2013 “Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns” album from Concord Records topped Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums charts and yielded four No. 1 hits. The 2018 follow-up, “Summer Horns II from A to Z,” featuring the artists on the current tour took the concept further with an inventive mashup ofthe 1939 Billy Strayhorn standard “Take the ‘A’ Train,” made famous by Duke Ellington, and Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys (And the Winner Is).”
Koz promised, “This show never gets boring.”
The 56-year-old doesn’t have time to be bored, either. He just sold out his 13thsmooth jazz cruise, launched a new wine, KOZ rosé, and continues as a global ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
“All I can tell you is I’m so eternally grateful because this business is so fickle. 2020 is the 30thanniversary of my first record coming out. It’s just mind-boggling to me,” Koz said.
After some reflection, the openly gay artist spoke frankly about the power of music during his early years:
“I feel like when I picked the saxophone growing up—being gay and not quite sure who I was and not having anyone to talk to—the sax became my best friend. I could work those emotions out through music. It’s been that one place I could always rely on to find comfort and acceptance,” he said.
Finally, for those diehard “Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour” fans, don’t fret: Koz will be back in West Palm Beach at the Kravis Center on Saturday, Nov. 30. He said he wouldn’t dare disappoint his South Florida fans during the holidays.
Saxophonist Dave Koz brings his “Summer Horns” tour to the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $44 at BrowardCenter.org.