HUB EXCLUSIVE: Kenny G Is Performing In Modesto September 27

HUB EXCLUSIVE:  Kenny G Is Performing In Modesto September 27

By Michael P Coleman

The best selling instrumental artist of all time is performing in Modesto September 27. 

Every time I think about that, it blows my mind.  The best selling instrumental artist of all time??  Do you know how many instrumental artists there have been throughout all time?!? 

Neither do I, but suffice it to say there have been lots and lots.  And that’s how many records Kenny G has sold over the years: lots and lots, to the tune of 75 million albums. 

kennyg square 300The artist formerly known as Kenneth Gorelick has had seven #1 albums and seven #1 singles over the course of his career.   His Breathless album is the best selling instrumental album ever, with over 15 million copies sold worldwide. 

And he’s planning to bring all of that to the Gallo Center for the Arts on September 27.

“We kinda do a mixture of music from some of our older records,” Kenny EXCLUSIVELY told THE HUB by phone.  “We also do a couple of newer songs — what can I tell ya?  My band and I have been playing together for 30 years, so we kinda know the music!” 

We do, too Kenny. “Don’t Make Me Wait For Love.”  “Forever In Love.”  “By The Time This Night Is Over.”  “Silhouette.”  “We’ve Saved The Best For Last.”  “The Moment.”  And he’s collaborated with artists like Whitney Houston, Smokey Robinson, Anita Baker, Peabo Bryson, Toni Braxton, The Winans, and Aretha Franklin. 

The artist’s mellifluous, fluid technique almost defies description, but you knew it was him when you heard it.  In fact, Kenny G’s unique take on jazz and his overwhelming, worldwide success spawned a host of imitators in the 80s and 90s. 

Oscar Wilde famously said that imitation was the most sincere form of flattery, but Kenny G bristled slightly at the mention of those who tried to follow too closely in his footsteps. 

“I don’t know if I took it as flattering,” Kenny G said.  “Most of it sounded raw.  When I’m playing it, it’s because I wrote it. I’m feeling it. I’m creating it. It’s a sound that I heard. It’s a way that I wanted to play. When I heard other people doing that, it sounded like it was very thought out and mannered and manipulated and calculated.”

“But I don’t blame them. The record company probably told them if they did that they’d sell a bunch of records. I never thought about selling records. I just thought about making the music. One of my goals is to challenge myself and do things that are interesting to me and that I haven’t done before.  It’s about uncovering the melody, like a sculptor who chisels away at a block of wood.  I see it inside there, but it might take me a week or two to get the melody right, because I want it to feel right.” 

Anyone who’s heard Kenny G’s gorgeous saxophone knows that it always feels right.  In fact, I’d surmise that there are a lot of 30-somethings walking the earth today because of Kenny G’s music! 

But as much as we love it, the artist, who told me he still practices three hours a day, seven days a week, says he doesn’t — he can’t — rush a project to market. 

“A lot of care goes into the music,” Kenny said.  “We don’t just churn it out.  That’s why I don’t make that many records.  It has to be something super, super special.  Every note.  Every song.”

September 27 at the Gallo Center is going to be “super, super special,” but Kenny said all he really wants to do is touch someone. 

“When you touch people with your music, there’s no better feeling,” he said. 

Touch me, Kenny G.  Touch ME! 

Click here to get tickets for Kenny G’s September 27 performance at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto.

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Connect with freelancer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com, or follow him on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP