Wednesday, June 5, 2013

June 5: smooth jazz saxophonist Kenneth Bruce Gorelick - better known as Kenny G - is 57-years-old today.

Photo courtesy of Kenny

Kenny G was born in Seattle, Washington. He became intrigued by the saxophone, after he heard someone play the instrument on the one on the The Ed Sullivan Show. He started playing one when he was 10-years-old. He learned how to play under the direction of local trumpeter Gerald Pfister and by practicing along with records - mostly of Grover Washington, Jr.

When Kenny entered high school, he failed on his first try to get into the jazz band, but tried again the following year and earned first chair.

Kenny G signed with Arista Records as a solo artist in 1982, after label president Clive Davis heard his rendition of ABBA's "Dancing Queen." He has since released many solo albums and collaborated with various artists including Andrea Bocelli, Whitney Houston, Peabo Bryson, Aaron Neville, Toni Braxton, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller, Weezer, Dudley Moore, Lee Ritenour, The Rippingtons, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion.

He received success quite early on with his own albums, especially G Force and Gravity, his second and third studio albums respectively, achieving platinum status in the U.S. They were then topped by his fourth studio album, Duotones, which sold over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone.
His sixth studio album, Breathless, became the number one best-selling instrumental album ever, with over 15 million copies sold, of which 12 million sold in the U.S.

He broke another record when his first holiday album, Miracles, sold over 13 million copies, making it the most successful Christmas album to date.

In 1997, Kenny G earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone. Using circular breathing, Kenny G held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City.

That same year, Kenny G's song "Havana," from his album The Moment, was remixed by noted DJs Todd Terry and Tony Moran and released promotionally to dance clubs in the U.S. These mixes went to No.1 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play Songs chart in April 1997.

Kenny G's 1999 single, "What a Wonderful World" was criticized in its overdubbing of Louis Armstrong's classic recording.

Kenny G. appeared in the music video for pop star Katy Perry's single "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" as Uncle Kenny. On the October 8, 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live, Kenny appeared with his soprano sax alongside alternative rock band Foster the People as they performed their song "Houdini."

Kenny G is also a radio personality and can be heard every morning alongside Sandy Kovach on WLOQ in Orlando, Florida.

He is also an avid golfer and a licensed aircraft pilot.

For more about Kenny G, visit his Website at


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