Go Away With … Dave Koz

Photo credit: Greg Allen

By Jae-Ha Kim
December 21, 2010

Saxophonist Dave Koz’s latest album “Hello Tomorrow” debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart. Released seven years after his last CD — and 20 years after his self-titled debut album — “Hello Tomorrow” includes “The Guy’s in Love with You” with guest vocals by Herb Alpert, who made the song famous. Koz, 47, resides in Beverly Hills and currently is on tour to support his CD. “For updated tour dates, check out his website at www.davekoz.com.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I absolutely love Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. I once went there for a week’s vacation in October and as soon as I returned I booked another trip for January! That city has such an intense pull … the people, the food, the beaches, the relaxed way they approach everything there. I became an addict!

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. For me it’s always Northern California, particularly Marin County. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and while I love the energy and feeling of the city, when I need to cool out and relax, I can always find what I need in Sausalito, Calif. It’s just the right escape for me for a couple days — the trees, the water, the lushness everywhere. I’ve found it to be a very spiritual place, as well, even for short stays.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. The Four Seasons Milan, the Alvear Palace in Buenos Aires, the Bali Cliff Hotel in Bali and the One and Only Resort in Cape Town, South Africa.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Yu-N-Mi in Beverly Hills. That’s my neighborhood sushi bar and Ted, the owner is one of the most creative chefs I’ve ever met. I love Tra Vigne in St. Helena, Calif., Mastro’s Steakhouse and CUT, both in Beverly Hills. I am crazy about Rao’s Restaurant in New York City.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. I bring music, of course, and my own hair dryer. I know, that’s a bit diva-ish, but you can’t trust hotel hair dryers. I also bring a computer and way too many clothing options. As someone who travels for a living, I should be a better packer, but I like to have options.

Q. What are your favorite cities?

A. I love Cape Town. I never tire of New York. Positano, Italy is so great. London is always a blast and Prague and Paris are always inspiring.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I usually do my research online and occasionally get a book and read up on the plane ride over. But I’ve found the very best research is to talk to friends who’ve been where you’re going for first-hand knowledge of places to see and restaurants to try. It’s invaluable.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. I am fascinated with India and hope to plan a big trip there soon. I’d love to experience Mumbai and some of the other cities there. Equally at the top of my to-do list is China. I’ve only been to a place called Sanya there. It’s a small island off the coast, so Shanghai and Beijing, as well as the Great Wall, are all on the list, too. I am also itching to go back to Australia — it has been almost 20 years! And to visit New Zealand for the first time.

Q. What is your best vacation memory?

A. My best memory was my backpacking trip to Europe when I was around 20. My best friend and I traveled to 13 countries in about 2-1/2 months, staying at little pensiones and youth hostels. We stretched our money out heroically! It was so exciting, seeing all those different places for the first time. We had so many amazing life-changing experiences.

© 2010 JAE-HA KIM


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