Considered one of the world’s leading saxophonists for the last two decades, Dave Koz has sold millions of albums and been nominated for many awards. Koz’s most recent high-profile collaborator was the Foo Fighters — he is featured on the latest Foo’s full-length Concrete and Gold — which goes on a long list of high-profile collaborations with U2, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Michael McDonald and Gloria Estefan. Koz has also been an internationally-syndicated radio host for over 20 years beyond hosting The Dave Koz Lounge on SiriusXM for the past three years.
In support of his latest album Dave Koz and Friends 20th Anniversary Christmas — as spotlighted on a 2017 CBS television special that also featured Melissa Etheridge and Lindsey Stirling — Koz is now on tour. I had the pleasure of conducting Q&A with Mr. Koz for PureGrainAudio and was able to throw in a few questions about the smooth jazz legend’s relationship with rock music. For live dates and other information about his recent 20th Anniversary Christmas, click on over to www.davekoz.com.
Check out thisn live clip of Foo Fighters with Alison Mosshart and Dave Koz.
You are featured on the new Foo Fighters’ album. How did you and Dave Grohl first meet?
Dave Koz: I met Dave at a small dinner party about 12 years ago. We got to talking — and a nicer, more warm guy you cannot find. We became unexpected friends, and a long story, I am actually his godfather. Go figure! So I do see him a lot and we keep in touch a lot, given both of our crazy travel schedules.
He texted me in March of this year, saying he thought it was finally time for me to play on a Foos album. I was so excited and SO nervous. But we had a blast in the studio — and it turned out great. He then invited me to play live with the band at a huge festival in Southern California called Cal Jam 17. It was one of the great highlights of my musical life sharing the stage with Dave and that unreal band. It was like driving the most expensive and fastest Maserati on the planet…a thrill that simply cannot be described in words!
Did performing with Dave Grohl and crew inspire you to want to perform with more rock artists?
Koz: I’ve had the honor of playing with a variety of rock artists over the years including folks like Rod Stewart and U2. That’s the beauty of the saxophone. It can fit so nicely into so many disparate genres of music, feeling perfectly at home in R&B, pop, jazz, rock, blues, you name it. I think it’s so versatile because it’s such a melodic and emotionally heartfelt instrument. I am still blown away by the power of the saxophone to communicate a message…and increasingly humbled to play it!
Is there something that you are still hoping to accomplish within your career?
Koz: The list is LONG! (laughs) I still have SO much I want to do, so many artists I dream about making music with, so many albums I look forward to making. But alas, there’s only so much time. One thing at a time…we shall see. But suffice to say, I am nowhere near being done!
When not busy with music, how do you like to spend your free time?
Koz: I have a small little hideaway in northern California that I love disappearing to, reading, seeing friends, relaxing. I love going out to wonderful dinners with family and friends. I love and am fascinated by wine, and learning lots! I am a very dedicated uncle to my four nieces and four godkids, and I love to travel and explore, and watch movies. I am a movie freak!
Finally, Dave, any last words for the kids?
Koz: This time of year it’s especially poignant to look through a child’s eyes to witness the magic of it all. It’s in those eyes that you see the true meaning of the holidays, and of life in general. Their innocence is what keeps me going and gives me hope. So, thank you, kids, for just being YOU!
Check out “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” feat Selina Albright here.