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Dave Koz (born March 27, 1963) is an Americanmarker saxophonist. Because they look and sound similar, Koz often draws comparisons to another well-known saxophonist, David Sanborn, and is sometimes billed as "the second coming of Sanborn." He usually plays soprano or alto saxophones, but sometimes plays tenor; he used to occasionally have parts in which a baritone saxophone would have predominance.


Dave Koz was born on March 27, 1963 in Encino, Californiamarker. From an early age, he and his sister took piano lessons. "My mom basically forced my sister and me to play piano from when we were toddlers. I hated piano; I was never any good at it. But I have to thank her now for making me do it, because I write most of my songs on the piano." Around age nine, he began taking drum lessons, but notes that he was not very good at drums, "I am the world's worst drummer. I could not keep time to save my life." At age 13, his brother, Jeff, had a band that Dave wanted to be in, but his brother told him over and over that there was no way he could be in it. Dave eventually wore him down, and his brother told him that the only way he could be in the band was if he could play the saxophone, because their band did not have a saxophonist. That was all he needed to hear. Two years later, he was in the band and working gigs with the band and by himself.

Dave attended William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hillsmarker, performing on saxophone as a member of the school jazz band. He later graduated from UCLAmarker with a degree in mass communications in 1986, and only weeks after his graduation, decided to make a go of becoming a professional musician. Within weeks of that decision, he was recruited as a member of Bobby Caldwell's tour. For the rest of the 1980s, Koz served as a session musician in several bands, toured with artists such as Jeff Lorber & Richard Marx, and played in the house band of CBS' short-lived The Pat Sajak Show, with Tom Scott as bandleader.

In 1990, Koz decided to pursue a solo career, and began recording for Capitol Recordsmarker. The move proved to be successful, and his self-titled album earned high praise from critics and fans alike. His later albums include Lucky Man, The Dance, and Saxophonic. Saxophonic was nominated for both a Grammy Award and an NAACP Image Award.

In 1994, Koz began hosting a syndicated radio program, The Dave Koz Radio Show (formerly Personal Notes), featuring the latest music and interviews with who's who in the genre. Dave co-hosted of The Dave Koz Morning Show With Pat Prescott on 94.7 The Wave, a smooth jazz station in Los Angelesmarker for six years. He decided to leave the show in January 2007 and was replaced by Brian McKnight.

In 2002, Koz started a record label, Rendezvous Entertainment, with Frank Cody and Hyman Katz. One of the first albums from that label was Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby, which came at the time his brother Jeff became a father for the first time.

In an April 2004 interview with The Advocate, Koz came out publicly as a gay man. Later the same year, he was named by People magazine as one of their "50 Hottest Bachelors" in their June issue.

In 2004 he recorded the Luther Vandross song "If Only For One Night" with Paul Jackson, Jr., Brian Culbertson and Lenny Castro, as one of the tracks for the GRP Records tribute album, Forever, For Always, For Luther. In 2006, he played on all the songs for the followup tribute album, released this time on his own Rendezvous Entertainment label, called Forever, For Always, For Luther Volume II, which also was produced by Rex Rideout and Bud Harner. Vandross also appeared as a background vocalist on the single "Can't Let You Go (The Sha-La Song)" from Koz's 1999 album, The Dance.

In 2006, Koz was selected to host a syndicated afternoon show for Broadcast Architecture's new Smooth Jazz Network. The show, based in Los Angeles, is broadcast on other Smooth Jazz stations across the country. Koz and Ramsey Lewis are the only two Smooth Jazz personalities to host two different syndicated shows during the week.

Capitol Recordsmarker/EMI's "Forever Cool" (2007) features Koz in a new arrangement of "Just in Time" with the voice of the late Dean Martin.

Koz has promoted annual Dave Koz & Friends Jazz Cruises since 2005.

Koz is the host of a weekly half-hour television series named Frequency put on by Fast Focus. Koz interviews musicians on the show such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Jonathan Butler, and Kelly Sweet. At the end of each interview, he plays along with the musician, adding some of his saxophone riffs to one of their hit songs.

Koz plays a Yamaha silver alto sax (YAS-62S) with a #7 Beechler metal mouthpiece, a Yamaha straight silver Soprano sax (YSS-62S) or a vintage Conn curved soprano sax with a #8 Couf mouthpiece, and a Selmer Mark 6 Tenor sax with a Berg-Larsen hard rubber mouthpiece. As for reeds, he uses size 3 Rico Plasticover.

On September 22, 2009, Koz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Koz performing in May 2005
Musical recordings of Dave Koz include:


  • Dave Koz (1990)
  • Lucky Man (1993) (Best selling album)
  • Off the Beaten Path (1996)
  • "Live From Trinidad" 1996
  • December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997)
  • The Dance (1999)
  • A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
  • Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby (2002)
  • Saxophonic (2003)
  • Golden Slumbers: A Father's Love (2005)
  • At The Movies (2007)
  • " At The Movies", Double Feature 2008
  • Memories Of A Winter's Night (2007)
  • Greatest Hits (Sept. 2008)

EPs / Singles


Year Single Chart Positions
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. Adult Contemporary Philippinesmarker Malaysiamarker Hong Kongmarker
1990 "Emily" 1 1 1
1993 "You Make Me Smile" 20
1999 "Together Again"
2000 "Careless Whisper" (featuring Montell Jordan) 30
"Know You by Heart" 26
2007 "White Christmas" 16

Compilation appearances


  1. The Bay Area Reporter
  2. Pack A Picnic And Head For Ste. Michelle's Big Outdoor Concert, The Seattle Times, June 28, 1991
  3. Forever, For Always, For Luther,
  4. Forever, For Always, For Luther Volume II,
  5. Dave Koz Discography, AOL

External links

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