Pictures of Kaufman Center
Kenny G. plays saxophones, but Friday night he primarily played the soprano sax (never heard of one), and he wowed the crowd from the very beginning. He started in the audience at the very top of the balcony serenading us. This amazing man walked down the stairs of one side of the theatre and across to the other side, down more stairs and to the center of the stage holding the same note without a breath. I was out of breath for him. lol It's no wonder he was able to hold the note so long since he holds a Guinness World record for holding an e-flat on his sax for 45:47 in minutes.
At the age of ten, Kenny G. started playing the saxophone after seeing it played on the Ed Sullivan show. It's the same sax that he uses today. He's a Grammy award winner and is the top selling instrumental musician of our time. He's grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation solidifying his reputation as the premiere artist in contemporary jazz. He has sold 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the
alone) and more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard's contemporary jazz
He's played with the likes of contemporary jazz artists such as Barry White and Jeff Lorber. He's been a frequent collaborator with some of the most iconic figures in American popular music, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and Frank Sinatra. The Duets Album (2004) featured performances by Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach and LeAnn Rimes.
You know some of his credentials for music, but now I'm going to tell you about the comedian and the man. In between his wonderful music, Kenny G. entertained us with stories. He told us about playing at the White House in the
He stayed in the
room. The desk in there was where Lincoln
wrote the Gettysburg Address. Kenny G.
was drawn to that desk knowing that it must hold some special wisdom in it; he
opened the drawer. There it was: White
House stationary. lol Lincoln
He pulled out a sheet, picked up a pen and started writing and writing page after page. Kenny G. finally looked at the first page and on it was written, 'I'm in the White House, dad. He looked at the others, and they were written to other people he knew in
( Seattle is where he's from), so he
kept thinking of more people to write to, and he said the same thing to all of
them. Finally, he ran out of people to
write to, and he was trying to think of someone else to write to. Then he
remembered as a scrawny kid (he's a buff 134 pounds now) walking through the
school hallway with his instruments and some big guys grabbing him and throwing
him up against the lockers. He wrote,
Dear Assholes, I'm in the White House.
This talented man is humble, funny, and loyal. The guy who plays the piano for him has been with him since high school, and the other band members have been with him 25 to 30 years.
Credit for some information on Kenny G. and the Pops comes from the Kansas City Symphony program. The stories Kenny G. told were paraphrased, so they may not be exact.
Have a good week, and I'll see you next Sunday.
Sandra K. Marshall, author @http://www.eirelanderpublishing.com