Dave Koz is about the entertainment

Published on September 12th, 2019

By Jim Dail

Dave Koz is an incredibly successful musician, whether in a band or solo, an excellent businessman and an all-around good guy. But when it comes to the stage, he is more than a musician: He’s an entertainer.

“When I’m going to another country, when I have to fill out my occupation I always put entertainer as oppose to a musician or sax player,” he said. “That’s the way I look at it. I was having lunch today with Gerald [Albright] and somewhere along the way we got to talking about how jazz musician got this cue that being entertaining is selling out. Somewhere that message got communicated. You see a lot of jazz musicians, especially young ones, look like they are waiting in line at the dentist. I tell the younger ones to at least pretend you are having a good time. You aren’t flipping burgers!”

Get ready for a couple evenings of the good type of entertainment when Koz brings Summer Horns (Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Kenny Latimore and Aubrey Logan) on Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15 to Thornton Winery as part of the 2019 Champagne Jazz Concert Series.

“It’s important for everyone to have a good time, and that’s kind of the way we approach it,” he said. “We are a bunch of people grateful to have the job we do and we love it. We are living in trying times and music is a diversion. It’s a reminder to get it all back to what it’s all about.”

This group has a lot to work with, from musicians with extremely long, successful careers to two Summer Horns albums to draw from.

“I think you’ve got a bunch of people who have been doing it a long time,” he said. “This gives us access to a different part of our musicality. We have a true horn section here. All of us grew up playing in marching band, stage band, that kind of thing, and once that’s in your DNA it never goes away. There’s a power that comes from a horn section.”

It’s in his history, as well as the other horn blowers in Summer Horns.

“That was one of the most prevalent sounds of bands I grew up listening to in the late ‘60s and ‘70s when I was being exposed to music like Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Chicago, Kool & the Gang,” he said. “Every one of those bands had that horn section. So, this is a return to our roots.”

Summer Horns is a two-album and multi-tour project featuring Koz and his superstar friends.

The first album, released in 2013, featured such songs as “Got to Get You into My Life,” “25 or 6 to 4,” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”

They followed it up with Summer Horns II: A to Z, which featured “Conga,” “Route 66” and “More Than Yesterday.”

“These are not just karaoke versions,” Koz said. “We’ve done two albums and we want to do thoughtful, imaginative covers. It gives us more satisfaction. It’s really about finding that delicate balance between keeping the song recognizable and putting your own feel to it.”

What is always enticing about Summer Horns, and Koz solo, is the entertainment.

“That’s one of the things that makes it a nice concert,” he said. “You are going to get a bunch of Summer Horns and then I will have a couple moments, then Audrey, Rick, Gerald will have their moments and we will come together as a band. We have some great combinations as well. Rick and I may do one, then Adam and Audrey do one together, just a lot of different mixes.”

For Koz, like the others, it’s not all about the group.

“I have a new album, a Christmas record “Gifts of the Season,” and, of course, a Christmas tour,” he said. “I’m also putting the pieces together on a traditional album, and since this will be my 30th anniversary of recording, I am looking back and forward to honor the past and scope out some new territory.”

After graduating for UCLA, Koz began his professional music career with Bobby Caldwell and then Richard Marx, signing with Capitol Records and releasing his first solo record in 1990.

His career has featured four chart-toppers: “Life in the Fast Lane,” “Put the Top Down,” Starting over Again,” and “Anything’s Possible.”

“It seems like time has flown by, and it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s been 30 years,” he said. “It’s been one adventure after another. I am extremely filled with gratitude that I can have a career that lasts that long. It says a lot about my fans because our style of music is not trendy. Yet, we have had support all around the world.”

However, a big part of that is Koz and the members of Summer Horns and what they do.

“This is a complete different show than last time,” he said. “We have to do that and change things up. We are going to be doing a number of songs we didn’t do last time and a few different arrangements.”

And maybe some of that success has been his willingness to do something new.

“I like trying stuff,” he said. “A lot doesn’t work, but I enjoy the process and seeing what I can try now.”

THE SHOW

Where: Thornton Winery, 32575 Rancho California Rd. Temecula

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, September 14

            5 p.m. Sunday, September 15

Admission: General admission $99 and $94, Gourmet supper: $184 and $179

Information: Call 951-699-3021 or visit Website, www.thorntonwine.com

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