The first time saxophonist Dave Koz played Wolf Trap, he opened for Ray Charles, in a major moment of his early career. Now, a seasoned artist with 12 albums and 20 years of successes behind him, he returns to the Filene Center with close friend BeBe Winans.
"Wolf Trap is one of my favorite places going back many years," Koz said. "It's a beautiful spot where people love to come out for the shows. This time, they'll see two close friends coming together, even though we're very different people. We're a gospel and jazz guy who shouldn't be in the same orbit. Instead, we have great fun onstage putting together a show."
Last week, Koz performed at Michael Feinstein's Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind. It happened to fall on the day after the death of Marvin Hamlisch, a close friend of Feinstein. Koz's thoughts immediately flashed back to his first show with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. He had never before played with symphonies and was very nervous, but Hamlisch at the piano dispelled all fear in his calm, special way.
|Dave Koz and BeBe Winans|
|Where: Wolf Trap's Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna|
|When: 8 p.m. Wednesday|
|Info: $42 in-house, $25 lawn; 877-WOLFTRAP (965-3872); wolftrap.org|
"That first concert with Hamlisch just sort of happened, the way a lot of things have in my life," Koz said. "I hadn't planned to go into music, but a friend of bandleader Bobby Caldwell heard me play and recommended me to him. During the year I was with the band, [keyboardist/composer] Jeff Lorber propelled me to the front of the stage, and those positive opportunities led to my decision to begin a solo career. Everything that has happened to me is because of meeting the right people at the right time."
Koz has been a regular contributor to syndicated radio as host of "The Dave Koz Radio Show" and co-host of "The Dave Koz Morning Show" on an L.A. smooth jazz station. He currently hosts "Frequency," a television series combining interviews and music.
For a pleasant respite at the close of this very busy season, Koz will lead a Royal Caribbean cruise to Barcelona, Spain, and ports in Italy and France.
"This has been a fun, high-energy tour with BeBe," he said. "Here we are, an African-American gospel singer from the Midwest and a white, gay Jewish guy from California having a great time together. There's so much divisiveness in this election year, people should ask themselves, if we can find a common ground, why can't everyone?"