Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour, a high-energy holiday tradition celebrating its 15th anniversary, will kick off its 2012 edition on November 23rd in Sarasota,  FL with a return engagement at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The tour is one of the longest-running Christmas tours.Led by seven-time GRAMMY® nominee and saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz, this year’s run is featuring special guests GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer David Benoit, who appeared in the original 1997 line-up and was instrumental in the tour’s creation; Javier Colon, who sang on Koz’s Saxophonic album and was the winner of the inaugural season of NBC’s hit television show, “The Voice,” and the inimitable drummer/percussionist/vocalist Sheila E. (Prince, Cyndi Lauper. Ringo Starr), who makes her debut in the Christmas lineup after appearances on previous Dave Koz & Friends summer tours, and introducing singer/songwriter Margo Rey. See below for itinerary.Together the quintet will perform hits from their respective catalogues and jam on fresh, fun arrangements of seasonal favorites. As always, there will be surprises, but Koz hints that the production will take things to a new level and will include a special medley of “Peanuts” holiday music inspired by Benoit, who has paid tribute to Vince Guaraldi’s timeless music with several “Peanuts” themed albums.


Dave’s summer tour, featuring inspirational/R&B/gospel icon BeBe Winans as special guest, elicited stellar reviews.The New York Times observed: “He’s a musician of unflappable rhythmic aplomb, which he happily squares against the airtight funk of his band. And he’s a frolicsome performer, given to hip swivels and bowlegged squats, along with a constant rotation of tenor, alto and soprano saxophones.”


“Koz, of course, has become a concert staple in this town,” said the El Paso Times, noting that he has sold out nine shows in the area in recent years. “One reason Koz keeps drawing crowds here is that he never does the same show twice.” Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour comes to El Paso’s Plaza Theatre Performing  Arts Center on December 13th.


Hello Tomorrow (Concord Records), Koz’s latest album, was nominated for a GRAMMY award for Best Pop Instrumental Album and was named the “Best Smooth Jazz Album of 2010” by iTunes and “Best Contemporary Jazz Album” at the 2011 Soul Train Awards. Produced by Marcus Miller and John Burk, Hello Tomorrow debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart. Dave has released 12 albums in the past 20 years, including four Christmas collections.


“I think the Christmas season gives us all a chance to go back in time, it’s so nostalgic–and music plays such a big role in bringing out that feeling,” says Koz. “It never ceases to blow me away, how much people love holiday songs–as evidenced by our 15th anniversary of this tour! This year especially, we’ll try to fit in as many favorites as possible and add our own unique touches along the way.”


Dave Koz And Friends Christmas Tour 2012

Unless noted with *, all dates are with special guests David Benoit, Javier Colon and Sheila E. and introducing Margo Rey


11/23  Sarasota, FL                                   Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

11/24  Clearwater, FL                                 Ruth Eckerd Hall 11/25  West Palm Beach, FL                     Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Arts 11/27 Melbourne, FL                                  King Center of the Performing Arts 11/28 Naples, FL                                       Philharmonic Center for the Arts 11/30 Atlanta, GA                                      Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center 12/1    Durham, NC                                    The Carolina Theatre of Durham 12/3    N. Bethesda, MD                             The Music Center at Strathmore 12/4    Newport News, VA                           Ferguson Center for the Arts Concert Hall

12/5    Morristown, NJ                                 Mayo Center for the Performing Arts 12/6    Cleveland, OH                                  Playhouse Square – Palace Theatre 12/7    Columbus, OH                                 Palace Theatre 12/8    Chicago, OH                                   Chicago Theatre 12/10  Denver, CO                                      Paramount Theatre

12/11 Colorado Springs, CO                        Pikes Peak Center *12/12 Ft. Worth, TX                                   Bass Performance Hall

*12/13 El Paso, TX                                     Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center

12/14 Santa Rosa, CA                               Wells Fargo Center for the Arts 12/15 Rancho Mirage, CA                          Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa 12/16  Los Angeles, CA                             Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

12/18 Las Vegas, NV                                 The Smith Center for the Performing Arts 12/19 Mesa, AZ                                         Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theatre 12/20 Santa Barbara, CA                            Granada Theatre 12/21 Cerritos, CA                                     Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts 12/22 Cerritos, CA                                     Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts 12/23 San Francisco, CA                           Warfield Theatre

* Sheila E. does not appear on these two dates.


Artists and dates subject to change.