Look up Kenny G on Google and learn he is “the biggest selling instrumental musician of the modern era.”
Ask Kenny G, who appears Friday-Saturday, March 24-25, at Cache Creek, about that and he concurs, although without braggadocio.
“I don’t think that is an alternate fact,” he says. After all, he has sold more than 75 million records.
“But it’s the result of one of those things when it all comes together. The times have been very favorable to me. I was making my hits when radio was a thing and people were listening to it, when record stores were a thing and people were buying records. Those were grand days, but now I need to reach people in different ways.
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“I need to embrace the new ways. Social media is very important and that’s where I’ll have to find my new and younger audience if I can. Most of my peers are not that much into social media.”
With all his prolific output over the years (capped undoubtedly by 1992’s “Breathless,” his sixth studio album and the one that included three major hits with “Forever in Love,” “Sentimental,” and “By the Time This Night Is Over”) he’s been noticeably absent for a while. His last album was “Brazilian Nights” in 2015.
“Yes, I’m due. Not overdue. But definitely due. I’m working on a collaboration album now. I would hate to say all duets, but certainly some duets.”
Kenny G has played with a long roster of other artists, and it will be a surprise who shows up for this latest effort.
“There are many people I would like to perform with and haven’t. Herbie Hancock comes immediately to mind, one of the greatest jazz players ever. If Paul McCartney suggested a duet, I certainly would not say no, nor to Beyoncé or even Chance the Rapper, as examples.”
Kenny G’s music has always been a subject of discussion in the industry, most of the chatter over how to define it. Is it jazz? Is it pop? Is it that weird hybrid smooth jazz? Ardent fans of classic jazz claim loudly it doesn’t fit that category, but Kenny G himself allows no quarter.
“When I am in an airport, for instance, and somebody asks if I’m a musician, I simply say, ‘I’m a jazz musician.’ That’s what I am.
“That said, let me say this to those who have never seen us perform live. You are in for a wide variety of music. My shows are very energetic and any kids out there who are budding musicians will get lessons and inspiration.
“In short, if you think you’ll go to a Kenny G concert, hold hands, and fall asleep, you’ve got some surprises in store. Of course, we play the standards and the music that’s expected, but there’s plenty unexpected in store for you as well.” (8 p.m.; $75-$99; cachecreek.com)