David Stephen "Dave" Koz (born March 27, 1963) is an American smooth jazz saxophonist.

Early life

Dave Koz was born on March 27, 1963 in Encino, California to Jewish parents: Norman, a dermatologist and, Audrey Koz, a pharmacist. Dave has a brother, Jeff, who is also a musician, and a sister, Roberta.[2] Although he is Jewish, Koz plays both Christmas and occasional Hanukkah songs at his concerts.[3][4] He attended William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, performing on saxophone as a member of the school jazz band. He later graduated from UCLA with a degree in mass communications in 1986, and only weeks after his graduation, decided to make a go of becoming a professional musician.


Within weeks of that decision, he was recruited as a member of Bobby Caldwell's tour. For the rest of the 1980s, Koz served as a session musician in several bands, toured with Jeff Lorber. Koz was a member of Richard Marx's band and toured with Marx throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. He also played in the house band of CBS' short-lived The Pat Sajak Show, with Tom Scott as bandleader.[5] He also often guest-starred as the saxophone player on The Arsenio Hall Show in the 1980s to mid 1990s.

In 1990, Koz decided to pursue a solo career, and began recording for Capitol Records. His albums there include Dave Koz (his 1990 solo debut), Lucky Man, The Dance, and Saxophonic. Saxophonic was nominated for both a Grammy Award and an NAACP Image Award.

Koz released his second album, Lucky Man, in 1993. During production of the album in 1992, Koz was approached by the producers of ABC's General Hospital to perform on the show after his track entitled "Emily", from his Dave Koz album, was used as part of the show's soundtrack that year. After his GH appearance, executive producer Wendy Riche commissioned Koz to write a new theme song for the soap. Koz took elements from the show's existing theme song, Jack Urbont's "Autumn Breeze", and merged the chorus notes into a brand new smooth jazz composition titled "Faces of the Heart". The new theme music made its debut on General Hospital's 30th anniversary show, which aired April 1, 1993, and remained as the show's title track until August 27, 2004. "Faces of the Heart" ended up as the third track on Koz's Lucky Man album.

In 1994, Koz began hosting a syndicated radio program, The Dave Koz Radio Show (formerly Personal Notes), featuring the latest music and interviews with who's who in the genre. Dave co-hosted The Dave Koz Morning Show on 94.7 The Wave, a smooth jazz station in Los Angeles for six years. He decided to leave the show in January 2007 and was replaced by Brian McKnight. In 2002, Koz started a record label, Rendezvous Entertainment, with Frank Cody and Hyman Katz.[6]

In 2006, Koz was selected to host a syndicated afternoon show for Broadcast Architecture's new Smooth Jazz Network. The show, based in Los Angeles, is broadcast on other Smooth Jazz stations across the country. Koz also collaborated as a guest star with ADA Band, Indonesia, for their album. Koz and Ramsey Lewis are the only two Smooth Jazz personalities to host two different syndicated shows during the week. Capitol Records/EMI's "Forever Cool" (2007) features Koz in a new arrangement of "Just in Time" with the voice of Dean Martin.

Koz has promoted annual Dave Koz & Friends Jazz Cruises since 2005.

Koz is the host of a weekly half-hour television series named Frequency put on by Fast Focus.[7] Koz interviews musicians on the show such as Earth, Wind & Fire, Jonathan Butler, and Kelly Sweet. At the end of each interview, he plays along with the musician, adding some of his saxophone riffs to one of their hit songs.

Koz was also the bandleader on The Emeril Lagasse Show. The band, Dave Koz & The Kozmos, featured Jeff Golub (guitar), Philippe Saisse (keyboards), Conrad Korsch (bass guitar), and Skoota Warner (drums).[8][9][2]

Koz hosts a weekly radio show on the Sirius-XM Radio Watercolors channel called "The Dave Koz Lounge,"[2] which airs Sundays at noon ET.[2]

Koz plays a Yamaha silver alto sax (YAS-62S) with a No. 7 Beechler metal mouthpiece, a Yamaha straight silver Soprano sax (YSS-62S) or a vintage Conn curved soprano sax with a No. 8 Couf mouthpiece, and a Selmer Mark 6 Tenor sax with a Berg-Larsen 90/2 hard rubber mouthpiece. As for reeds, he uses a No. 3 Rico Plasticover.[2]

On September 22, 2009, Koz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[2]

In October 2010, Koz performed "Start All Over Again" in a Desperate Housewives season 7 episode "Let Me Entertain You", alongside singer Dana Glover. In July 2012, he appeared on The Eric André Show, season 1 episode 7, and sat in with the house band.[2]

In December 2014, he opened Spaghettini & the Dave Koz Lounge, a restaurant and live music venue located at 184 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, California with business partners Cary Hardwick and Laurie Sisneros, who own Spaghettini in Seal Beach.[2][2]

Personal life

In an April 2004 interview with The Advocate, Koz came out publicly as gay.[2][2]


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart
Hot 200
1990Dave Koz129
1993Lucky Man176
1996Off the Beaten Path182
1997December Makes Me Feel This Way
1999The Dance 1903
2001A Smooth Jazz Christmas 1403
2002Golden Slumbers: A Father's Lullaby
2003Saxophonic (2003)2
2005Golden Slumbers: A Father's Love
2007At the Movies862
2007Memories of a Winter's Night7
2010Hello Tomorrow1041
2013Dave Koz & Friends – Summer Horns843
2014The 25th Of December
2015Collaborations: 25th Anniversary Collection1871
2017Dave Koz & Friends: 20th Anniversary Christmas

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart
Hot 200
1996Live in Trinidad
2013Live at the Blue Note Tokyo
  • A. "The Dance" also peaked at No. 67 on Billboard's Rhythm & Blues/Hip Hop Albums.
  • B. "Smooth Jazz Christmas" also peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Holiday Albums.

Compilation albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart
Hot 200
2008Greatest Hits1843

Other albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart
Hot 200
2008Masterpiece [C]
  • C. "Masterpiece" this album may be a personal collection [3]


YearSingleChart Positions
U.S. Hot 100U.S. Adult ContemporaryJazz
1991"Castle of Dreams"13
"Nothing But the Radio On"20
1993"You Make Me Smile"20
"Faces of the Heart (ABC Daytime's General Hospital Theme Song)
1994"Lucky Man"
1999"Together Again"
2000"Careless Whisper" (featuring Montell Jordan)30
"Know You by Heart"26
2006"Somewhere/Summer of '42"
2007"The Pink Panther Theme"27
"It Might Be You"
"White Christmas"22
2008"Life in the Fast Lane"1
"White Christmas" (rechart)14
2010"And Then I Knew"13
"Put The Top Down"1
2011"Starting Over Again"1
"Anything's Possible"1

Compilation appearances