“The Dave Koz Radio Show,”distributed by Dial Global Network, is a worldwide syndicated, 2-hour weekend radio show that features Dave as host interviewing top artists and playing his favorite music. The show currently celebrating its 15th consecutive year on the air. Tune in to KOWB 1290 AM each week on Sunday mornings as Dave Koz ventures through the world of smooth Jaz.
In a career that spans twenty years and a dozen albums, saxophonist Dave Koz has established himself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary music. But for as noteworthy as his body of recorded work and as entertaining his live performances and other past accomplishments might be, Koz finds himself in an era of dramatic and sweeping change where everything once taken for granted is suddenly up for grabs. For Koz – and for all of us in this first decade of the new century – it’s a new day, full of new challenges and opportunities, and new rules that are still being written.
Koz embraces this era of change – and even the uncertainty that comes with it – on Hello Tomorrow, his debut on Concord Records set for release on October 12, 2010. Produced by Grammy winners John Burk and Marcus Miller (who also appears on most tracks), the album features a diverse army of high-profile guests: Herb Alpert, Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, Sheila E., Boney James, Jeff Lorber, Keb’ Mo’, Ray Parker, Jr., Lee Ritenour, Christian Scott and others. Each of the thirteen tracks – most of them written by Koz and his collaborators, others penned by friends and legends – focuses on being open to new beginnings, and trusting that the future is unfolding in all the right ways for all the right reasons.
“I’m excited to be with a new record label after nearly 20 years,” says Koz, “but it’s reflective of a larger change for me personally, and there’s always some apprehension that comes with big changes. The more people I talk to, the more I realize that there are millions of people with a similar story – the loss of a job in an economic downturn, the end of a marriage, the beginning of a new career, any circumstances that force them to take a step in a different direction or reinvent themselves in some way. They’re reaching a certain point where they see a life ahead of them that they never expected. Many of us are at the beginning of a new era, and we’d be wise to embrace it.”
The project has been a guiding force for Koz, and could be the same for longtime fans and newcomers alike. “I made this album partly as a means to help myself through this unfamiliar time,” he says. “Hopefully it could be a tool to help anyone else in a similar situation.”
Music – and more specifically, the saxophone – have been Koz’s primary survival tools since his childhood and adolescence in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley. He started playing as a means to land a spot in his brother’s band, but somewhere along the way, “the saxophone became my best friend, my most trusted ally, because it enabled me to communicate feelings that I didn’t have the words for. In many ways, it saved my life.”
After earning a degree in mass communications from UCLA, Koz took the leap into a career as a professional musician – a decision that immediately led to touring gigs with vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Bobby Caldwell, keyboardist Jeff Lorber and pop singer Richard Marx. He signed with Capitol and released his self-titled solo debut in 1990. Noteworthy follow-ups included the gold certified Lucky Man (1993), Off the Beaten Path (1996) and three holiday albums – December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), Dave Koz & Friends: A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001) and Memories of a Winter’s Night (2007). The gold certified The Dance (1999) and Saxophonic (2003) each spawned five Top 5 hits on the contemporary jazz charts, and the latter album scored two Grammy nominations.
In addition to the 2007 Christmas album, Koz also released At the Movies that same year. Produced by the legendary Phil Ramone and crafted as a celebration of timeless melodies from the cinema, At the Movies spent 12 weeks at the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart and scored a second Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album. A year later, Koz followed up with Dave Koz at the Movies Double Feature CD + DVD, which included the original CD with two new bonus tracks, a new DVD and a track-by-track commentary.
Dave Koz: Greatest Hits, a retrospective collection released in the fall of 2008, debuted at the top of Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as well as iTunes’ Jazz Album chart. The album included several of Koz’s hits plus four brand new tracks.
In addition to compiling an ambitious discography over the past two decades, Koz continues to flex his mass-communications muscles as a radio personality in two different outlets. On weekdays, he hosts an afternoon radio program that’s nationally distributed on the Smooth Jazz Radio Network; and on weekends, he hosts the syndicated Dave Koz Radio Show – now in its 15th year – in approximately 120 markets.
Koz also keeps a hand in various other entrepreneurial and philanthropic ventures. He is the founder of Rendezvous Records, and has served for 17 years as global ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation – an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and life-altering injuries. He recently partnered with Vinum Cellars, a Napa Valley boutique winery, and Whole Foods Market to introduce three types of KOZ wines. The wines are available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada, with all proceeds going directly to the Starlight Foundation.
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