Valentine's Day with Kenny G
Albert-George Schram, conductor
The smooth sounds of saxophone superstar Kenny G meld with the full orchestra when Pacific Symphony delivers a romantic Valentine’s evening of music. By grafting elements of R&B, pop and Latin to his jazz foundation, Kenny G is one of the most iconic and best-selling instrumentalists of all time. The orchestra opens the program with musical variations on the theme of love, including Richard Rodgers “My Funny Valentine.”
Learn more about the guest artists and the concert in the program notes.
In a recording career that spans almost three decades and 23 albums, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G has grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation, solidifying his reputation as the premier artist in contemporary jazz. Since the early ‘80s, his combination of unparalleled instrumental chops and indelible melodies has resulted in sales of more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.
Given these and other commercial and critical achievements, one might think Kenny is an artist with nothing to prove, but he once again reaffirms his enduring place in popular music with the June 29, 2010 release of Heart and Soul on Concord Records. Following up on the success of Rhythm and Romance in 2008, his first Latin jazz album and Concord debut, Heart and Soul captures the spirit and the vibe of the classic R&B that Kenny grew up listening to in his native Seattle.
Kenny’s longtime songwriting partner and producer, Walter Afanasieff, once again serves as a creative foil in the making of this record. In addition, guest vocalists Robin Thicke and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds each take a turn at the mic.
In many respects, this album takes him back to the beginning – the R&B of the early and mid-1970s that Kenny soaked up during his teen years at an inner-city Seattle high school where he mixed with a culturally diverse student body at a young age. Inspired by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire and Grover Washington, Jr., he was only 17 when he landed a gig with Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra at the Paramount Northwest Theater (now the Paramount Theater) in 1973.