Jazz saxophonist Dave Koz delights in the irony of having a fifth Christmas album out this fall (“The 25th of December”) and his wildly popular holiday tour now in its 17th year — quite a turn of events for the self-described “nice little gay Jewish boy.”
Touring this year with Christopher Cross and soul diva Maysa, the “2014 Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour,” kicked off on Black Friday in Sarasota, Fla. We talked to him by phone this week from his hotel room in West Palm Beach, Fla. — it took him a few seconds to remember which city he was in — for a spirited chat on his music, life off the road and musical camaraderie with Richard Marx, Johnny Mathis and more. His comments have been edited for length.
WASHINGTON BLADE: So far so good on the tour?
DAVE KOZ: This is the first year where I’ve walked off the first night with no notes, nothing to say, no changes at all. … We’ve done it three nights now and it’s been going over gangbusters. I’m so proud of the show. … With all the crazy stuff in the world right now, it’s a lot of positivity coming at you.
BLADE: Do you feel an added spring in your step with this year’s show since there’s the new album too?
KOZ: I do because it gives us an opportunity to bring in a lot of new music. The album, “25th of December,” was a true joy to make. The producer, Rickey Minor, has a long resume of great artists he’s worked with and this was my first-ever true duets album. It’s really a vocal album with very little instrumental music, so this was an opportunity to bring a lot of that music into the show.
Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour – Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, Md. Tuesday at 8 p.m.
VIP tickets with meet-and-greet available at davekoz.com, General tickets: $38-85