Fri, May 14, 2010 - Page 13 News List

Kenny G has sax appeal

The smooth saxophone maestro returns to Taiwan for two concerts this weekend

By Andrew C.C. Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

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For more than two decades, saxophonist Kenny G has warmed the hearts of countless fans with his velvety smooth delivery of romantic jazz tunes.

The king of smooth jazz visits Taipei tomorrow and Taichung on Sunday for concerts that will see him play a few classics and preview

a new tune from his upcoming album Heart & Soul,

which will be released worldwide at the end of next month. He will also appear tonight in the season finale of the TV talent show One Million Star (超級星光大道), when he will share the stage with Taiwanese singing sensation Lin Yu-chun (林育群).

A prodigy who started his career by playing as a sideman in Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra when he was only 17, Kenny G (last name Gorelick), has moved on to a career as the most successful instrumentalist of his time by selling more than 75 million albums worldwide.

He has collaborated with the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin, and his 1994 album Miracles is the best-selling Christmas album ever.

“I consider good music to come from an artist who has spent a long time perfecting his art and accomplishing his style,” the 54-year-old star in a phone interview last week.

Of his compositions, Kenny G considers his breakthrough hit Songbird and Coming Home as two of his favorites.

Asked why he thinks he has managed to build such a successful career, he said, “I’m glad audiences around the world responded to these melodies. I’m just glad my music communicates with people.”

Kenny G will perform two Chinese tunes for his Taiwan concerts, the folk song Jasmine Flower (茉莉花) and Teresa Teng’s (鄧麗君) classic The Moon Represents My Heart (月亮代表我的心).

PERFORMANCE NOTES:

What: Kenny G 2010 Live in Taiwan

When and where: Tomorrow at 7:30pm, NTU Sports Center 1F (台大綜合體育館1樓) at the intersection of Xinhai and Xinsheng South roads (台北市辛亥路與新生南路交叉口), and Sunday at 7:30pm, Chung Hsing University Huisun Auditorium (台中中興大學惠蓀堂), 250 Guoguang Rd, Taichung City (台中市國光路250號)

Admission: NT$800 to NT$6,000,

available through 7-Eleven ibon kiosks or online at www.tickets.com.tw

On the Net: www.kennyg.com


“I’m glad to have the chance to play these two songs because I don’t normally have the chance to perform them in the US,” he said.

Asked who he would like to perform a duet with, Kenny G replied, “Jackie Chan (成龍). I have performed on stage with him before. It would be great to record a duet with him.” The two met in the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and became friends.

To establish a closer connection with his fans during concerts, Kenny G makes it a routine to roam through audiences while performing.

Kenny G is often criticized by purists for crafting easy-listening background music, but he jazzes up his tunes during concerts by improvising — which he considers to be “visually entertaining.”

“There won’t be any stage effects in this concert. It will just be my music,” he said.

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