DOES NOT HURT ONES CAREER,
contrary to popular belief!
Just ask Dave Koz.
When he came out in The Advocate in 2004, Dave Koz instantly expanded his already large fan base and shattered a lot of myths about gay men and music.
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 (released on October 12, 2010. “Put The Top Down,” the breezy lead single from the album, rocketed to #1 at Radio after just three weeks!). 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.
Looking back on the Advocate Coming Out interview, he says, “I think everyone makes that leap at the right time in their own lives—there is no absolute rule, and thus I tend to shy away from giving anyone else advice on how to do this. In my own experience however, I never had a master plan to come out…that moment shocked me when it came—I sort of knew it instinctively and I said to myself, “It’s time”. Up until that point it was something I was either too worried, or too freaked out to do. I wasn’t willing to risk it…but then something surprising happened.
I was doing an interview for another gay publication—and the interviewer initially said it was just to speak on the music, no personal questions. His editors had a different agenda and he came back to me saying that in order for the article to run I would have to address my sexuality. Well, I noticed the way this information made me feel…and for the first time ever, it didn’t scare the &*%# out of me! I went to my managers with the idea of coming out—they were super supportive, having helped Melissa Etheridge along her journey. But they said if you’re going to do it, do it with The Advocate. And that’s exactly what happened—a few months later, just about in sync with my turning 40, it was done. This little piece of information that I’d been guarding so preciously all my adult life was finally out there for the world to see. Of course at the time I was freaking out…but I haven’t looked back since. By far, the very best thing I’ve ever done for myself. “
LAST WEEK, Dave added his effort to the Dan Savage It Get’s Better Project. You can watch his video and listen to his growing up gay story . And he reveals how his music got him through the struggles of growing up gay. 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. “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.”
This is shows 13th Anniversary! And this year’s run will feature special guests South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, keyboardist Brian Culbertson and Dutch saxophone star Candy Dulfer. It will mark Dulfer’s first tour with Koz while Butler and Culbertson are back by popular demand.
The artists will perform hits from their respective catalogues and join together on a variety of holiday standards for an inspirational, high-energy show that has become a cherished tradition for many fans. The tour will take them from coast to coast and include three Los Angeles area shows (December 17th & 18th at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and December 19th at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live). The festivities will conclude with a show at Modesto’s Gallo Center for the Arts on December 20th.
DAVE KOZ AND FRIENDS… A SMOOTH JAZZ CHRISTMAS
2010 TOUR COMES TO Ft. Lauderdale, FL
November 29, 2010 at 7:30pm at Au-Rene Theater !
“Holiday music is like comfort food – when you hear these songs, they transport you,” says Dave, who has three classic holiday albums to his credit (December Makes Me Feel This Way, A Smooth Jazz Christmas Dave Koz & Friends, Memories of a Winter’s Night). “It’s like when you smell a fresh apple pie, and it conjures up memories of your grandmother’s baking and all the traditions that make this such a special time of year.”