5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
A nine-time GRAMMY® nominee, Dave Koz has charted nine No. 1 albums on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Album chart, including 2015’s Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection (Concord Records), which features some of his most memorable creative partnerships – including duets with such artists as Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Michael McDonald, Barry Manilow and Luther Vandross – and Summer Horns, Koz’s 2013 collaboration with Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair, which paid tribute to the horn-fueled, rock/funk/soul bands of the 1960’s and 70s.
SD: You have been on this tour since the end of July. How is the tour going?
DK: It’s been great! I am having a heck of a time. Since I am a huge psycho-fan of Larry, I have to pinch myself night after night to make sure this is real. I can’t believe that I am sharing a stage with him.
SD: How did you get connected with Larry Graham Jr.?
DK: Larry has performed on a few of our cruises, “David Koz and Friends at Sea.” We become such great friends and since I am a huge fan, I wanted to take our show to land. Our collaboration really works because jazz music is rooted in R&B. We really do owe him and Sly and the Family Stone our musical gratitude.
SD: What do you enjoy most about performing with him?
DK: I love playing the horn parts on his music. I start the show and play for about 45 minutes and then we finish the show together. He is amazing! The only thing I struggle with is trying to dance and play the sax. The dance steps have me floundering on stage. I look like a complete fool, but I don’t care. He is a total entertainer. He is such a generous, warm, and fun person. I am so honored to be in his presence.
SD: Was the saxophone your first choice of an instrument to play?
DK: No, it was the piano. My mom forced us to play it. I hated it, so I rebelled against my parents when I was 8 and started playing the drums. I was even worse at the drums than the piano. When I was in seventh grade, my brother had a band and I wanted it to be in it. He said the only way I could join is if I played the sax. I got one and it was the first time that an instrument felt right in my hands.
SD: Your latest album “Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection” was released back in 2015. Any plans on a new album?
DK: I just finished a new Christmas album that will be released this fall. It’s in celebration of our 20th anniversary of our first Christmas album. I do have plans to work on the next “Summer Horns” projects that will be released sometime in 2018.