Dave Koz, the nine-time Grammy Award nominee who rules the Smooth Jazz arena with his chart topping recordings, creative collaborations, jazz cruises and radio programs, returns to the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival with the Summer Horns on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023. This year, the Summer Horns will feature saxophonists Candy Dulfer and Eric Darius along with vocalist Maysa. A fan favorite, it’s his second appearance at the festival.
Dave Koz earned his first Grammy nomination in 2001 for Best Pop Instrumental Album for A Smooth Jazz Christmas. He would earn five more nominations in this category for his recordings released between 2002 and 2013 including At the Movies, Live At the Blue Note Tokyo and Summer Horns.
After Bruce Lunvall signed him to Capitol Records, the Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley born Koz released his self-titled debut solo album in 1990. He went on to release several successful albums through the ‘90s, and his 1999 album, The Dance, earned five contemporary jazz hits.
In 2007, Dave Koz released two chart-topping collections of standards. At the Movies, his romantic celebration of timeless cinema melodies, spent 12 weeks leading Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart. Memories of a Winter’s Night, a festive collection of holiday standards, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart in that same year. Capitol Records released Dave Koz: Greatest Hits, his first-ever retrospective album, in the fall of 2008 and it debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart.
Hello Tomorrow, Dave’s first album for Concord Records, debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart, and was named Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2010 by iTunes. The CD was hailed as “an event record” by The New York Times. With his friends Gerald Albright, Richard Elliot and Mindi Abair, Dave Koz turned to producer Paul Brown to help them realize the vision for 2013’s first outing of Summer Horns (Concord Records). It paid tribute to the high-octane, richly arranged horn sections that fueled so many hits in the ‘60s and ‘70s. In addition to the Grammy nomination, it received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Jazz Album.
Koz’s 2014 holiday recording, The 25th of December (Concord Records), was his eighth album to top Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Current Contemporary Jazz Albums chart in August 2015 while the lead single, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” with Kenny Lattimore and Rick Braun, entered the Top 5 at Smooth A/C and Jazz Radio.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Dave Koz recorded two albums. 2020’s A New Day, released exactly 30 years and one day after his self-titled debut album, and the June 2021 release of, The Golden Hour. Recorded live in the studio with a large jazz ensemble, the album marked his first full-length collaboration with guitarist/producer/internet sensation Cory Wong.
With venues shuttered around the world due to the pandemic, Koz was unable to mount the 23rd Annual Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour. Instead, he brought the festivities into fans’ homes via a special livestream event. The virtual concert proved so popular that he followed it with a Valentine’s Day Eve livestream. When live entertainment returned, Koz took to the road with the 2021 Summer Horns tour and the 24th annual Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour. The Dave Koz & Friends at Sea Cruise resumes this year with three sold-out, back-to-back voyages to Spain, Morocco and Portugal.
Dave has served as global ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation for over 25 years. He founded KOZ Wines in 2009 as another avenue to support the foundation. Dave donates all his proceeds from KOZ Wines to the organization and, with help from his fans, has raised over one million dollars through the Dave Koz and Friends At Sea cruise silent auction.