Kenny G - Here for the Holidays!

October 1, 2018

The most successful instrumentalist of modern times, Kenny G brings his velvety sound to Centennial Hall for a holiday show

By Joe Berlanger, The London Free Press

December 14, 2017

Kenny G is smooth, especially when he’s playing his saxophone, his velvety tone could seduce a stone.

Get him talking about his golf game with ­Alice Cooper and it appears smoothness doesn’t just apply to the music he’ll be playing today at Centennial hall.

It applies to his golf swing.

“Of course, I’ve played Alice,” said G, a scratch golfer, in a recent telephone interview.

“We love to play against each other. He’s a great guy, a lot of fun. We haven’t played for a while, but I’m always up for a rematch and I’ll beat him again. I’ve made some changes in my swing.”

G brings his Miracles Holiday and Hits tour to London. He’ll perform some of his greatest hits, including songs from his 1994 smash album Miracles: The Holiday Album, still one of the most successful holiday albums ever recorded with more than eight million copies sold.

For more information on Kenny G's show at the Touhill and to purchase tickets, click here.

For 30 years, G has performed with the same band, with the ­exception of drummer Daniel Bejarano, who joined after the death in 2006 of G’s long-time drummer Bruce Carter.

His band also includes his high school pal, Robert Damper, on piano, bassist Vail Johnson, guitarist John Raymond, and percussionist Ron Powell.

The 61-year old G was born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick in Seattle. But performing in Canada is bit like coming home.

That’s because G is the son of Evelyn Ruth (Eva) Brounstein from Saskatchewan and Morris Gorelick, a Russian Jewish emigrant to Seattle, where Kenny was raised.

“I love Canadian people and playing there because I’ve been going up there since I was a kid,” said G.

“In the U.S., I can always tell when I’m talking to a Canadian. It’s a signature little something in the words I can hear.”

He picked up the saxophone when he was age 10 and has gone on to become the most successful instrumentalist in modern times, selling an estimated 76 million albums since 1982.

G started performing professionally when he was 17 and still in high school, playing with Grammy winning star Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973.

Today, G looks older, but remains in fine physical shape and sharp musically.

“When you’re dedicated to being a musician, you practice for a few hours every day, especially if you want to keep getting better,” said G.

“When I was 15, I started working out every day, too. I love feeling great. Do I love running or doing squats? No. But it makes me feel great and let’s me enjoy life.”

As a scratch golfer, G has played with some of the world’s best, including at the ATandT Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tournament where, in 2007 and teamed with Phil Mickelson, they shared the title with Tiger Woods and Jerry Chang. Twice, G has topped the Golf Digest rankings of Top 100 in music.

G said he still enjoys performing and his favourite venue is London, England’s Albert Hall.

“It’s just amazing playing there and I get excited every time I’m going there,” he said.

G has collaborated with some of music’s greatest stars, among them Aaron Neville, Toni Braxton, DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince, Steve Miller, Weezer, Dudley Moore, Michael Bolton, Frank Sinatra and Smokey Robinson.

But G saves his highest praise for the late Whitney Houston, having played on the soundtrack of the movie in which she starred with Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard, which became the best selling soundtrack of all time. G wrote Even If My Heart Would Break, sung by Aaron Neville for the soundtrack.

G also has played for Canada’s Celine Dion, whose hit from the Titanic soundtrack, My Heart Will Go On, G covered and regularly performs.

G said he’ll be playing some holiday songs in London.

“But it will be a dynamic show and include a lot of soft ballads,” G said.

“I think it’s a pretty exciting show and, if you like great music, the guys playing with me are all masters at their crafts who’ve played with me for more than 30 years. They’re exciting to watch, no matter what they play.”

For more information on Kenny G's show at the Touhill and to purchase tickets, click here.