Fall is officially here and the holidays are not far behind. Today, Dave Koz & Friends dropped the perfect soundtrack for the season – Christmas Ballads (25th Anniversary Collection). The album explores the romantic side of the festivities, setting a gentle, laid back mood for a quiet night by the fire with a glass of wine and the one you love.
Christmas Ballads features pianist David Benoit, trumpeter Rick Braun and guitarist Peter White – the friends who accompanied Koz on the road in the earliest years of the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2022 and holds the record as the longest-running, jazz-based Christmas tour. Rebecca Jade is the featured vocalist on the album’s gorgeous medley of John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over) / Imagine.”
For his eighth holiday album, Koz intentionally selected songs he had never recorded before. Highlights include a subtly swinging version of the Sammy Cahn/Jules Styne classic “A Christmas Waltz,” producer Philippe Saisse’s uniquely arranged medley of “Away in a Manger/Silent Night,” Schubert’s “Ave Maria” and a passionate rendition of “Petit Papa Noël” from the 1946 French film “Destins.” Koz gets his Karen Carpenter on via an exquisite, buoyantly elegant twist on The Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas Darling.” The album wraps with “Wrapped Up In Your Smile,” a classic-styled Koz power ballad co-written with Saisse.
Many of the tracks will receive their live debut on the Dave Koz & Friends 25th Anniversary Christmas Tour, which kicks off on November 25 (Black Friday) at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Joining Koz on the run will be Rick Braun, Peter White, Keiko Matsui and Rebecca Jade. Tickets are on sale now at https://www.davekoz.com/tour. See below for itinerary.
“I feel so grateful for the opportunity to make music for such loyal fans for over three decades,” Koz says. “With so much negative energy out there in the world today, it’s more important than ever to realize how vital music is in bringing something positive and nurturing into people’s lives. As long as I’m able to continue making music, I will be out there doing just that!”