David Stephen Koz (born March 27, 1963)[1][2] is an American saxophonist, composer, record producer, and radio personality based in California.

Dave Koz
Koz in 2018
Koz in 2018
Background information
Birth nameDavid Stephen Koz
Born (1963-03-27) March 27, 1963 (age 61)
Tarzana, California, U.S.
GenresJazz, rock, glam rock, heavy metal (formerly)
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, record producer, radio personality
Instrument(s)Soprano and alto saxophones (primary), tenor saxophone (secondary), baritone saxophone (formerly), piano, keyboard
DiscographyDave Koz discography
Years active1987–present
LabelsCapitol, EMI, Rendezvous, Concord

Early life


Dave Koz was born in Encino, California, to Jewish parents: Norman, a dermatologist and Audrey, a pharmacist. Dave has a brother, Jeff, who is also a musician, and a sister, Roberta.[3] Although he is Jewish, Koz plays both Christmas and occasional Hanukkah songs at his concerts.[4][5] 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 deciding to be a professional musician, he was recruited as a member of Bobby Caldwell's tour. Koz was originally a rock saxophonist before he moved to smooth jazz in 1989. For the rest of the 1980s, Koz served as a session musician in several rock bands, and toured with Jeff Lorber. Koz was a member of rock musician Richard Marx's band and toured with Marx throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, which was around the time he recurred as the guest saxophonist on the syndicated late-night talk show The Arsenio Hall Show. He also played in the house band of CBS' short-lived The Pat Sajak Show, with Tom Scott as bandleader.[6]

In 1989, 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.

Dave and Wayman Tisdale performing at the Dave Koz & Friends Smooth Jazz Cruise 2006

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.[7]

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.[8] 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).[9][10][11]

Koz hosts a weekly radio show on the Sirius-XM Radio Watercolors channel called "The Dave Koz Lounge,"[12] which airs Sundays at noon ET.[13]

Koz plays a Yamaha silver alto sax (YAS-62S Mk. I) 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 VI Tenor sax with a Berg-Larsen 90/2 hard rubber mouthpiece. As for reeds, he uses a No. 3 Rico Plasticover.[14] Koz occasionally plays keyboards and piano, with which he also composes his songs.

On September 22, 2009, Koz received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17][18]

In 2018, Koz collaborated with guitarist and regular Vulfpeck contributor, Cory Wong, on two tracks, "The Optimist" and "Friends at Sea".[19] The two collaborated again in 2021 for the album The Golden Hour, including the single "Today".[20][21]

In 2022, Koz collaborated with singer-songwriter Ben Rector on the track "Supernatural"[22] from Rector's album The Joy of Music.

Personal life


In an April 2004 interview with The Advocate, Koz came out publicly as gay.[23][24] He has been a resident of Sausalito, California since 1990.[25]



Solo studio albums

with Cory Wong

  • The Golden Hour (2021)

Awards and nominations

Dave Koz awards and nominations
  1. ^ Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up, and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.
Year Nominated work Event Award Result Ref
2002 A Smooth Jazz Christmas Grammy Awards Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2003 "Blackbird"
(with Jeff Koz)
Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nominated
2004 "Honey-Dipped" Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nominated
2005 Saxophonic Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2008 At the Movies Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
"Over the Rainbow" Best Pop Instrumental Performance Nominated
2011 Hello Tomorrow Soul Train Music Award Best Contemporary Jazz Artist/Group Won
2012 Grammy Awards Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2013 Live at the Blue Note Tokyo Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2014 Summer Horns
(with Gerald Albright, Mindi Abair, and Richard Elliot)
Best Pop Instrumental Album Nominated
2015 Dave Koz & Friends: The 25th of December NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Jazz Album Nominated [26]


  1. ^ "Dave Koz | Artist". Recording Academy Grammy Awards. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  2. ^ "Marvin, Dave Koz & the Movies — PNC Pops". Marvin Hamlisch. January 28, 2012. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  3. ^ Ford, Dave (August 20, 2004). "Record exec, radio star and smooth-jazz man. Dave Koz now settles into his newest groove: being an out gay man". Sfgate.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  4. ^ Akamatsu, Rhetta (November 27, 2011). "Concert Review: Dave Koz and Friends Christmas, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, Atlanta, GA11/25/11". Seattlepi.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  5. ^ Condran, Ed (November 28, 2013). "Dave Koz brings Christmas spirit to Durham". newsobserver.com. Archived from the original on December 7, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
  6. ^ "Pack A Picnic And Head For Ste. Michelle's Big Outdoor Concert | The Seattle Times". Archive.seattletimes.com.
  7. ^ Heffley, Lynne (September 26, 2002). "'Family' CD Puts Them to Sleep; 'Golden Slumber,' lullabies from Dave Koz and his smooth-jazz collaborators, is the first release on his new record label". The Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ "Frequency – Hosted by Dave Koz". Fastfocus.tv. Public Television Media. Archived from the original on June 29, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
  9. ^ "Television: Emeril Lagasse and Dave Koz". Davidmixner.com. March 22, 2010. Archived from the original on July 20, 2016. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Aubrey Everett (March 4, 2010). "Dave Koz and Emeril Team Up on TV". JazzTimes. Archived from the original on March 29, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  11. ^ "Dave Koz & The Kozmos" (PDF). Ionpress.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 6, 2012. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  12. ^ Harr, Dan (April 7, 2014). "Keb' Mo' And Vincent Ingala Join Dave Koz and Friends at Sea For 2014 Alaska Cruise". Music News Nashville. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Watercolors Smooth/Contemporary Jazz". Sirius XM Radio. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  14. ^ Vail, Greg. "What the Pros Play – Saxophonist Dave Koz". Woodwind & Brasswind. Retrieved March 2, 2014.
  15. ^ Steele, Bruce (September 22, 2009). "Koz Celeb". The Advocate. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  16. ^ "The Eric André Show, Season 1, Episode 7, 'J-Moe'". Amazon.com. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  17. ^ Matt Lopez, 'Spaghettini Beverly Hills Set To Open With Performance By Santana's Andy Vargas', The Beverly Hills Courier, December 5, 2014, Volume XXXXVIIII, Number 48, p. 4
  18. ^ "ニキビ治療薬ディフェリンゲルの注意点". Spaghettinibh.com. November 17, 2018. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  19. ^ Berenson, Sam (November 20, 2018). "Premiere: Cory Wong Finally Gets 'The Koz Nod' On New Collaborative Single, 'Friends At Sea'". Live for Live Music. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Golden Hour". Fanlink.
  21. ^ "Dave Koz and Cory Wong // "Today"". YouTube. Retrieved May 7, 2021.
  22. ^ "Ben Rector Rings in the New Year with Three Leading Tracks from Upcoming Album". AP News. January 7, 2022. Retrieved August 8, 2022.
  23. ^ "Koz Celeb". The Advocate. September 22, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2013. his first CD of all-new, original material since he came out in The Advocate in 2004
  24. ^ Vary, Adam B. (April 27, 2004). "Just Koz: Smooth-Jazz Golden Boy Dave Koz Comes Out-Fresh off His Adventurous New Album, Saxophonic". The Advocate. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Credibility is one of the main reasons why I feel like now is the time to bring [my sexuality] to my music, to my professional life.... I couldn't actually be who I really was, and I went along with it for a long time, until it was just too much to take, and I couldn't deal with that anymore.
  25. ^ "12 Questions for Dave Koz – Marin Magazine – December 2016 – Marin County, California". Marinmagazine.com. November 18, 2016. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  26. ^ Washington, Arlene (February 6, 2015). "NAACP Image Awards: The Winners". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 16, 2021.