Dave Koz & Friends at Xcite Center

Friday, August 11, 2023, 8 pm

In 2007, Koz released two chart-topping collections of standards. At the Movies, his lush, romantic celebration of timeless melodies from cinema, spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart. Produced by the legendary Phil Ramone, it was nominated for a GRAMMY® in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category. Memories of a Winter’s Night, a festive collection of holiday standards, hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz chart in December 2007. Dave Koz at the Movies Double Feature CD + DVD followed in early 2008, which featured the At the Movies CD with two previously unreleased bonus audio tracks, a new DVD, and a track-by-track commentary. Along the way, his numerous television appearances led to stints as a band member on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” as a bandleader on “Emeril Live” and as host of PBS’s “Frequency.”

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. The collection featured many of Koz’s smash singles, including “Castle of Dreams,” “Can’t Let You Go” (featuring Luther Vandross), “Together Again,” “Honey-Dipped” and “All I See Is You,” plus four brand new songs. The lead single, “Life in the Fast Lane,” which Koz co-wrote with writer/producer Darren Rahn, spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the R&R Monitored Smooth Jazz chart. It was followed by the Top 5 single, “Bada Bing.”

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 nominated for a GRAMMY® Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Hailed as “an event record” by The New York Times, its lead single, ‘Put the Top Down,” spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Mediabase Smooth A/C chart–the longest stint at No. 1 of any of Koz’s chart-topping hits. Ultimate Christmas, featuring 18 perennial holiday classics performed by Koz, bowed in 2011 on Capitol/EMI. Live at the Blue Note Tokyo, Koz’s first live CD was released by Concord Records in 2012 and received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Pop Instrumental 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. Produced by Rickey Minor, it featured collaborations with India Arie, Eric Benet, Jonathan Butler, Gloria Estefan, Fantasia, Kenny G, Heather Headley, Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis, Trombone Shorty, BeBe Winans, and Stevie Wonder. The first single, an all-star rendition of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” beautifully captured the spirit of the season and was a Top 5 hit on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Songs 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.

Twenty-two years after releasing his first Christmas-themed set, Koz took a very different stylistic approach on his 2019 holiday album, Gifts of the Season (Just Koz Entertainment, Inc.). The collection brought a buoyant, soul/funk/pop feel to Christmas classics across different eras. The album also included one Koz original – “A Prayer for Peace” – and “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” featuring Jonathan Butler, a groovin’, African chant-spiced version of the 1950s holiday song.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Koz recorded two albums. 2020’s A New Day, released exactly 30 years and one day after his self-titled debut album, was his 20th album overall and first full set of original material in 10 years. It reached the No. 1 position on numerous jazz charts, including iTunes and Amazon. The singles “Side By Side” ft. David Sanborn and “Dr. Norm” ft. Paul Jackson, Jr. each hit No. 1 while “The Closer We Get” entered the Top 5. Other special guests on the album included Brian McKnight, Antwaun Stanley of Vulfpeck, Meshell Ndegeocello, Bob James, Marc Antoine, Rick Braun, Jeff Lorber, and Chris “Big Dog” Davis. Koz broke new ground with his June 2021 release, 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.

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