Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Faces of the Heart (Dave Koz, saxophone)

From 1993 to 2004, this tune was the title theme music of the TV soap opera General Hospital. Dave Koz (his surname shortened from Kozlowski) was born the same year that General Hospital debuted - 1963.

Faces of the Heart, composed by Dave Koz, Jeff Koz (Dave's older brother) and Jack Urbont.

Dave Koz was born in Los Angeles. 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, and a stellar career as a “smooth jazz” saxophonist was launched. He most often plays alto sax, but has recorded on soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones, as well.

In 1994, Koz began hosting a syndicated radio program, featuring the latest music and interviews with who's-who in the genre. For six years Dave co-hosted The Dave Koz Morning Show With Pat Prescott on 94.7 The Wave, a smooth jazz station in Los Angeles. He decided to leave the show in January, 2007.

In an April 2004 interview with The Advocate (a magazine that serves the gay community), Koz came out publicly as a gay man, basically to clear his conscience. Increasing fame was putting pressure on him to suppress his private life, as he feared the truth about his sexual orientation would end his musical career. Instead, Koz experienced a surge of popularity after his coming out. Later the same year, he was named by People magazine as one of their "50 Hottest Bachelors" in their June issue (!). Koz bears a striking physical resemblance to fellow “smooth jazz” saxophonist David Sanborn, and their musical styles are similar. Dave's performances, enhanced by his expressive command of the saxophone, good looks and infectious stage presence, leave audiences exhilarated. While jazz purists blanch at the genre of smooth jazz, such artists as Dave Koz frequently serve as bait to lure new aficionados to classic jazz artists.

Koz and Ramsey Lewis have recently made major contributions to the education of the masses in matters relating to jazz, since both host popular syndicated shows about jazz music and musicians. Since 2005 Koz has been the star attraction for popular annual cruises marketed as “Dave Koz & Friends Jazz Cruises,” the most recent of which took place in November, 2008.

Koz is endorsed by Yamaha and plays primarily Yamaha horns.
Dave serves as a Global Ambassador for the Starlight Children's Foundation, a charity based in Los Angeles that helps children and teenagers cope with serious illnesses.

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