If you like smooth jazz, and who doesn’t, then you must know the name Dave Koz, America’s best performer, a Grammy-nominated saxophonist, who fills sold out halls all over the planet.
Not all of his performances take place on dry land, however. For the last 15 years, Koz has fronted music cruises, which sail the seven seas while providing music lovers the unique opportunity to listen to their favorite performers and mingle with them as well.
“From the time we get on board,” Koz says, “we are basically available to our audience members and fellow travelers. They may have come from halfway across the world to join our cruise. They relish the opportunity to meet some of their favorite performers, and we musicians love the opportunity we have to interact with our fans and listeners in the most luxurious and relaxing settings imaginable.”
In 2020 Dave Koz music cruises will be sailing the British Isles while offering multiple concerts daily as well as a five-star cruise experience.
“What I like most about the cruises,” Koz says, “aside from the music of course, is the kindness. That sounds crazy, but there’s something that happens when you get on a cruise that brings out the best in people. They are relaxed and happy. We get away from that whole ‘me first’ mentality that pervades the West. Sometimes I wish that real life could be as peaceful and enjoyable as things are on the cruises. “
Koz recently toured in Japan, where he says that the baseline for human interaction is thoughtfulness.
“It was a huge culture shock to come back to the States,” he says, “where everyone is in a hurry and people don’t take that extra moment to just show a sense of basic human kindness to their fellow individuals. I get it. Western culture means a fast-paced society, but the tragedy is that as we strive to accomplish more, see more, be more, and do more, we give up that essential piece of humanity that we demonstrate when we are simply kind to our fellows. “
Koz says he wonders why people reserve their praise and adulation for celebrities and not for all of their fellow human beings.
“We meet our listeners and supporters before and after our concerts,” Koz says. “I understand that there’s going to be some sense of adulation and I enjoy it. Anybody would. But the question is why do we reserve that adulation for entertainers. The bus boy who clears the dishes off your table at the restaurant is just as deserving of our acknowledgement and kindness as are performers. I wish everybody could see life that way.”
Koz points to a seminal moment in his performing career when a fellow musician pointed out that audiences are not sitting there with their arms folded being judgmental and preparing to dislike the performance. “I was told”, Koz recalls, “the audience really just is ready to love us, and as performers, we really have to go out of our way to screw that up.”
Koz makes the point that the interaction between audience members and performers – that desire to love and accept – ought to be the template for the way people interact in everyday situations.
“We need to remember that whatever the job title or socio-economic status of the person we’re dealing with”, he says, “all people are just that, people first. You see that in Asian and non-Western cultures constantly. It would be great if we could do more and see more of that here in the West. At least on the cruises, we have the chance to practice being our best selves all of the time. Sometimes I wish that life could be more like a music cruise!”
For more information about the Dave Koz visit https://www.davekozcruise.com