Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

High-energy instrumentals welcome all

Dave Koz and Friends excited to visit town


Brandon Jordan

Web Developer & Distribution Director

Published August 29, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 3 years old.

Dave Koz & Friends has been tremendously popular and successful during their time together performing.

For nearly a decade, the group has collaborated to perform in a variety of venues around the world, resulting in an astounding 13 sold-out Dave Koz & Friends at Sea cruises.

Known for its high-energy performances, Fort Wayne attendees can look forward to an exciting event.

First Time in the Fort

“This will be our first time in Fort Wayne, and we are so excited,” Dave Koz said in an interview with Whatzup. “We love visiting new cities, and we can guarantee a great show for those that will attend. These are high-energy shows where you’ll leave feeling better than when you came in, and we can’t wait to perform for the people of Fort Wayne.”

With a tour launch of July 12, the group is thrilled to be back and touring together again.

“It’s been a really fantastic summer so far,” Koz said. “(On Aug. 18), we played at one of the most iconic places, the Hollywood Bowl. I was born and raised in LA, and I remember as kids going, so it has always been engrained in my head as a magical and special place. It was full last night, too, so close to seventeen thousand people.

“I am very proud of this show. It’s a perfect summer show because with the Summer Horns, we are all solo artists, but we come together every few years out of admiration, respect, and love of this kind of music. This is music that comes from the golden era, late ’60s to early ’70s, when all horn bands were king. This was the stuff that, for me, made me want to be a musician. We do Summer Horns every few years to access that blueprint of our musicality. Even though you can be a soloist, that desire to play in a group never goes away.”

Starting in Jacksonville, Fla., and traveling across the country to Temecula, Calif., the tour is anticipated to be another major hit. Though jazz and instrumental music can be a “niched genre,” according to Koz, the fun-filled performances of Koz & Friends creates a bridge between all different kinds of people – and that is his biggest pride on the show.

“This genre is very inclusive,” he said. “Old and young, Republican and Democrat, all different races. Everything is there. This is something that is, as many years as I have been doing this, it’s not lost on me how healing and how unifying music is. Its power is to bring people together. You can have two very different people, and if they like the same song, there is a bridge. I have seen this happen over and over, and that’s a very powerful thing to witness. There is no target audience, except for anyone wanting to have a fun night.”

Award-winning passion

With nine Grammy nominations and 11 No. 1 albums on Billboard’s jazz charts, platinum-selling Koz is no stranger to the powerful influence of music.

His passion for music influenced his own life at a young age, where a love of playing the saxophone in his brother’s band led him to become a professional musician.

Nonetheless, Koz is still amazed at his life’s trajectory.

“Not in a million years did I imagine this would be my life,” he said. “I graduated UCLA as communication major, so in my brain, I was going to get a job. I loved music and always enjoy playing the sax, but never saw it as a realistic way to make a living. But thankfully, there were people that did see it, and that’s what you need in life. No matter your vocation, there are always those cheerleaders on the side so that you can get to wherever you need to go. I had a lot of those people in my life that kept me on track.”

Koz has used his own experience to become a self-proclaimed “cheerleader” for other musicians in this genre.

“There’s room in everybody’s music collection,” Koz said. “The music business has changed, but people’s desire for music or genres hasn’t. It’s gotten better and more exciting now with Spotify and Apple music. You can access so much, and I think instrumental music is viable as part of people’s appetites.

“The other side of the coin is it’s so niched that it doesn’t really get the attention. People see the word ‘jazz’ and get scared, so I like being a proponent, a cheerleader. I do it with radio and during the cruise, and love nurturing young talent that needs to be heard.”

With the 30th anniversary next summer of his first album’s release, Koz already has a full calendar year planned. With a Christmas tour starting Thanksgiving weekend and the upcoming release of new album called Gifts of the Season, fans can anticipate much more of Dave Koz to come.

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