July 21, 2016 - 8:30 pm
American Grammy Award saxophonist Kenny G is the biggest selling instrumental musician of all time with global sales exceeding 75 million records. The king of smooth jazz and his outstanding musicians will find in Byblos the perfect setting for their romantic and timeless hits: “Songbird”, “The Moment”, “Going Home”, “ The Joy of Life” and many more…
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and biggest selling instrumental musician Kenny G was born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick on June 5, 1956, in Seattle, Washington. He took an early interest in music and began playing the saxophone at the age of 10. He continued on with the instrument in his teens, while falling in love with the R&B sounds of popular groups like Earth Wind & Fire.
In 1973, at just 17 years old, Kenny G was hired by Barry White to play with his Love Unlimited Orchestra at the Paramount Northwest Theater in Seattle. The gig with Barry White and his band was the first of several for the saxophonist, and it was around this time that he changed his name to Kenny G.
Following his graduation, Kenny G followed two different career tracks: He enrolled at the University of Washington to study accounting, while also continuing to pursue a career in music. In addition to playing with White, Kenny G recorded with the Seattle funk band Cold, Bold & Together. Later, he hooked up with Jeff Lorber Fusion, recording an album with the group and playing with them on tour.
In 1982, after inking a deal with Arista Records, Kenny G released his self-titled debut album. Striking a balance between jazz and R&B, the record marked a solid start to his solo career. His next two albums, G Force (1983) and Gravity (1985), continued his upward trajectory, but it was his fourth studio album, Duotones (1986), which included the very popular “Songbird” that made the saxophonist an international star. Eventually topping 5 million sales, the silky-smooth jazz album led the way for Kenny G to work with other big-name stars, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole. During his career, he’s also performed with Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra.
Over the next decade Kenny G and his smooth sound dominated the airwaves and the record charts.
His 1992 release, Breathless, sold more than 12 million copies in the United States alone and became the top-selling instrumental album in history. In 1994, Kenny G won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for the track “Forever in Love.” That year he also released his first holiday album, Miracles, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
In addition to his recording success, Kenny G is also famous for his instrumental renditions of pop hits like Celine Dion’s “ My Heart Will Go On” or George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”. Kenny G set a Guinness World Record in 1997 for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. At a performance at J&R Music World in New York City, he employed a method called circular breathing to hold an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds. Although his mark was surpassed in 2000 by Vann Burchfield, Kenny G was hopeful of reclaiming the record.
Kenny G has also made efforts to take on different kinds of musical forms. The saxophonist has recorded albums that have displayed his appreciation for jazz standards (Classics in the Key of G, 1999), tropical sounds (Paradise, 2002), and Latin beats (Rhythm and Romance, 2008). In 2010 he delivered the R&B–driven album Heart and Soul, with contributions from Robin Thicke and Babyface, and in 2015 he returned to Latin inspirations for Brazilian Nights.
- Kenny G (1982)
- G Force (1983)
- Gravity (1985)
- Duotones (1986)
- Silhouette (1988)
- Breathless (1992)
- The Moment (1996)
- Classics In The Key of G (1999)
- Paradise (2002)
- At Last…The Duets Album (2004)
- I’m In The Mood For Love (2006)
- Rhythm and Romance (2008)
- Heart and Soul (2010)
- Namaste (2012)
- Brazilian Nights (2015)