Chart-topping jazz and R&B sax legend makes debut performance at Kleinhans Music Hall on June 9
Kenny G, the soprano saxophonist whose recordings routinely made the pop, R&B and jazz charts during the 1980s and 1990s, joins conductor Ron Spigelman and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for a special one-night-only performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, at Kleinhans Music Hall.
In a recording career that spans almost three decades and 24 albums, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G has grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin music to a jazz foundation, solidifying his reputation as a premier artist in contemporary jazz. Since the early 1980s, his combination of instrumental chops and indelible melodies has resulted in sales of more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard's contemporary Jazz chart.
Inspired by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire and Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G. was only 17 when he landed a gig with Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973. After high school (at Seattle’s Franklin High School), gigs with R&B and contemporary jazz artists kept coming. In 1982, he landed a record deal with Arista and launched a solo career with three critically acclaimed jazz albums: “Kenny G” (1982), “G-Force” (1983) and “Gravity” (1985).
By the '90s, Kenny G. was a multi-Platinum seller and a frequent collaborator with some of the most iconic figures in American popular music, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Natalie Cole and Frank Sinatra. His subsequent studio albums, “Silhouette” (1988) and “Breathless” (1992), were hugely successful, the latter selling more than 12 million records in the U.S. alone and spawning the Grammy-winning single "Forever in Love."
Another major career highlight for Kenny G. was “Miracles,” a 1994 holiday album that took the saxophonist to the top of the Billboard chart for the first time. It has since become the best-selling holiday album of all time. His two holiday albums since then (“Faith,” 1999, and “Wishes,” 2002) have been similarly successful. “At Last... The Duets Album” released in 2004 and featured performances by Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach and LeAnn Rimes, along with a remake of OutKast's "The Way You Move" with Earth, Wind & Fire.
After the success of “Rhythm and Romance” (2008) and “Heart and Soul” (2010), the second of which was a return to the classic R&B sounds of his Seattle childhood, Kenny G. has taken a step in in the direction of world music with his latest releases, “Namaste India” (2012) and “Brazilian Nights” (2015).
“It is our esteemed pleasure to welcome Kenny G’s iconic sound to Kleinhans Music Hall,” said Daniel Hart, executive director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. “Kenny has been one of the most-requested soloists of our audiences over the years. The musicians and I are thrilled that the stars finally aligned, and that we’ll be able to welcome him to join the orchestra for what is sure to be an unforgettable night. What an amazing way to kick off the summer season!”
Tickets to Kenny G with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are $39 to $99 and go on sale Monday, Feb. 3. A very limited number of VIP tickets, which include front-of-stage seating and a post-concert meet-and-greet with the artist, are available for $129. To purchase tickets, call 716-885-5000, visit bpo.org, or stop by the Kleinhans box office between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information, visit bpo.org.