Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-11-14
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



MUSIC Out musician Dave Koz releases his own 'Summer' sequel
Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Summer may be known for movie sequels—but out saxophonist Dave Koz is doing his own take on the phenomenon.

On June 22, he'll drop Summer Horns II: From A to Z, five years after releasing Summer Horns, a Grammy-nominated album that paid tribute to classic songs featuring killer horn sections. "From A to Z" features collaborations with musicians such as Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Richard Elliot and Aubrey Logan, with guest vocalists Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore, Shelea—and Gloria Estefan; songs include remakes of everything from the late Natalie Cole's "This Will Be ( An Everlasting Love )" to the oft-covered classic "Route 66."

The conversation picks up after Windy City Times and Koz exchanged pleasantries.

Windy City Times: Since the last time we talked, in 2015, there's been a massive change in the political landscape.

Dave Koz: Yes, that's true. No comment. [Laughs] So that's kept you busy, I'm sure; I hope you're not going insane.

WCT: I'm trying not to. Now, this new album is a sequel. What led to Summer Horns II: From A to Z?

DK: Well, the last time we did it was five years ago. The first Summer Horns project was like a one-off—just a little project. We did two tours of summer shows behind that and had such a blast. In the back of my head, I knew we would do another album; we were just waiting for the right time—and it seemed like late last year was the right [time] to do it for this summer.

One of our principals from the last go-round, Mindi Abair, had already committed to something else so she couldn't do it. We thought about delaying it, but we decided to move ahead, thinking about how we can change the sound in this new iteration. We decided to incorporate brass this time; the last time, it was just four saxophones. This time, we added trumpet, with Rick Logan; we also added Aubrey Logan, who's an amazing singer but who also blows the bejesus out of a trombone. She's really on the cutting edge of music.

This new lineup gave us an opportunity to look at a lot more of the repertoire because this is a full horn section, with brass and woodwinds. The sound itself is so powerful. What happened was a very inspired project in which we reimagined these classic songs in a new way—and, hopefully, it'll bring a lot of smiles and happy memories to people. 

WCT: I certainly recognize some of your longtime collaborators, like Gerald Albright and Kenny Lattimore. And Jonathan Butler—I remember him from his [1987] hit "Lies."

DK: Oh, yeah! The core of the group is Gerald, Richard Elliot, myself, Rick Braun and Aubrey Logan, but we wanted some great vocalists. Aubrey does a great job with Gloria Estefan's "Conga"—and then Gloria wanted to sing on the album after giving us her blessing, which blew us all away. Aubrey was a psycho fan of Gloria growing up—and, now, she had her idol singing back-up for her.

Kenny Lattimore and Shelea gave a very inspired performance on "This Will Be." Jonathan Butler, with his South African influence, was tailor-made for the Paul Simon classic "Late in the Evening." 

There were a lot of fun collaborations and mash-ups. We took the Duke Ellington song "The A Train" and mashed it up with the Jay-Z song "Roc Boys"—which gave the album its title: from "A Train" to Jay-Z. This was such a fun project, Andrew—and now we're going to take it on the road.

WCT: Having Gloria Estefan sing back-up is a bit intimidating, isn't it?

DK: Yes, but she's a giver. I remember doing a PBS special with her; she was out there for MY sound check, talking to the people to make sure I was comfortable. She wanted to make sure we were taken care of; she's a mama bear. It's one of the many reasons I love her so much.

WCT: I heard a few songs on the album. I had reservations about "Getaway," to be honest—but you guys pulled it off. [DK: Thanks!] You've alluded to it a bit with a few songs, but how did you decide which songs would be on this album?

DK: Last year, in December, we were all on the road, we'd have weekly conference calls with the principals and the record companies. We'd have these spirited, good-natured sessions in which people suggested songs. It was fun because it gave us a chance to fight for the songs we wanted. The first song list had about 150 songs, and we had to get down to 11. We felt very confident about those 11; there wasn't any fluff. It was almost alchemic—the right notes, arranges and songs, and they fell into place. I'm really proud of how it came out—great sound and a lot of energy.

WCT: Last time we chatted, we talked about younger artists you would like to collborate with, like Janelle Monae, Frank Ocean, Alicia Keys... Have you had a chance to connect with them?

DK: No, I have not—but there's always that possibility of the future, and that's what keeps me going.

I had a fun one last year in which I got a chance to play on the Foo Fighters album. Then, Dave Grohl asked me to perform with them at this huge rock festival in Southern California. Of course, I did—and that was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I've had a long career, and I feel very blessed that it's still going strong. This is actually just the "gravy" part; I just try to savor everything right now with his long career.

WCT: Long career? You told me you were 28! [Laughs]

DK: That's right. ... I'm 28. [Laughs] It's interesting—it's one thing to come out as gay, but to come out as gray.! That's happened since the last time we talked—and it was the best decision I ever made. It was like taking off another mask. Some people say I actually look younger with gray hair.

WCT: It's interesting because the younger people have been dyeing their hair gray.

DK: I know! I've been trying to get rid of mine for 25 years, and now they're doing this. I'm, like, "Geez—have some of mine!" [Interviewer laughs.] I started dyeing my hair in my 20s, and you get hooked on it. After, you're thinking, "Why did I let that drive me for so long?" It's about letting the real me out, now.

WCT: Of course, your album is dropping during Pride Month. What does Pride mean to you?

DK: It's certainly changed over the years. I was a very closeted gay kid, and had no resources, like a lot of other gay people. It's a generational thing, of course.

When I was a kid, I was a stranger in my own family. The saxophone became my best friend; I could work out all my emotions. Thank God I had that—it kinda saved my life.

But when I finally got enough strength to come out to my friends and family, Pride became a very important part of my life. I went to all the Pride parades in Los Angeles, and got addicted to that feeling to showing up with my full breadth of colors, you know? That was a great experience for me during my formative years.

Then there was coming out to the public at 40—15 years ago. It was the best thing I ever did, but Pride became a different feeling for me. Now, seeing how far we've come, Pride has again changed; I feel like we've come so far, but we have a long way to go. It's a complex world we live in regarding gay rights, but it's been amazing to see how things have [changed]. I didn't think, when I was a kid, that same-sex marriage would happen in my lifetime.

See .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Glad Rags' 'Wonder 'Under': An emotional kaleidoscope 2018-11-14 - Local queer psychedelic orchestra band Glad Rags' second full-length album, Wonder Under, is an eclectic and weird ride in all the best ways. ...

Gay News

Alyson Stoner, actress/singer/dancer on Ms. Jackson, acting, coming out 2018-11-14 - Being in the glare of the spotlight—especially for those who have been in the public eye since childhood—can be harsh. However, Alyson Stoner, ...

Gay News

Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace debuts side-project album 2018-11-13 - Transgender punk rocker and Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace's new side project, The Devouring Mothers, unleashes kinetic energy with an intimate touch ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Rihanna, 'Riverdale,' Glenn Close, Ezra Miller 2018-11-13 - Rihanna reportedly sent President Donald Trump a cease-and-desist letter after learning that her music was being used to hype up the crowd at ...

Gay News

Amy Ray on new album, acceptance and rock 'n' roll 2018-11-12 - Indigo Girl Amy Ray's September release, Holler, is a rich mixture of folk, Southern rock, mountain music, bluegrass and gospel, with her characteristic ...

Gay News

Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles to honor Stonewall, LGBTQ history 2018-11-09 - It may be a difficult, shaky time for equality right now, but Lakeside Pride Music Ensembles continues to play on, promoting positivity and ...

Gay News

Olly Alexander, Out British singer on band, queer artists 2018-11-07 - British pop band Years and Years is composed of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen. Their sound is mix of electronic, pop ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Streisand, GLAAD book, Spice Girls, Boy Erased, Rhapsody 2018-11-06 - Barbra Streisand has released an LGBTQ anthem that doubles as a statement against President Trump, reported. The legendary singer's latest album, Walls, ...

Gay News

Measure for Measure, Chicago Sinfonietta, Swing Shift Orchestra and more 2018-11-05 - The Hindu celebration of Diwali, the five-day festival of lights, will be marked by the Chicago Sinfonietta with concerts in Naperville ( Nov. ...

Gay News

'Lion King' musical auditions Nov. 10-11 2018-11-05 - There will be adult singer, adult dancer and children's auditions for Disney's The Lion King musical Nov. 10-11 at Hubbard Street Dance, 1147 ...


Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.