After playing host to the Glamping Festival in 2020 & the True Jazz Festival in 2017, True Arena Hua Hin was once again the location for memorable music.
On Saturday May 7th, the International Jazz & Blues Festival 2022 @ Hua Hin took place to an ecstatic crowd. Headlining for the evening was Kenneth Bruce Gorelick, known professionally as Kenny G, the American smooth jazz saxophonist, composer, and producer. Kenny G is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records.
The event kicked off with the band Mello Motif opening the festival, followed by Melodic Corner, Yamin & the SOS, DRAGONFLY and then the headliner Kenny G.
Kenny G got his start professionally in 1973 playing for Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. At the time he was 17. In 1982, after inking a deal with Arista Records, Kenny G released his self-titled debut album. Striking a balance between jazz and R&B, the record marked a solid start to his solo career.
His next two albums, G Force (1983) and Gravity (1985), continued his upward trajectory, but it was his fourth studio album, Duotones (1986), that made the saxophonist an international star. Eventually topping 5 million sales, the silky-smooth jazz album led the way for Kenny G to work with other big-name stars, including Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston and Natalie Cole. During his long career, he’s also performed with Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra.
After director Penny Lane’s critically acclaimed HBO documentary, Listening to Kenny G – which humorously reconsiders the purist critical backlash to his music – and a demand performance on Kanye West’s Grammy-winning Jesus Is King album, it’s now cool to not only be Kenny G, but admit you’re a fan of his as well.
“I didn’t realize how strong the message was until I saw the finished film,” says Kenny, who has both the best-selling instrumental album of all time in the Diamond-selling, 12-times-platinum 1992 Breathless, earning him his only Grammy Award among 15 nominations, and the Guinness Book of World Records mark for longest sustained note ever recorded on the saxophone. The feature probes some of the many Kenny G accomplishments, from his song “Going Home” being used as the official end-of-work-day anthem in China to his skills as a golfer and airline pilot. He was also one of the original 10 investors in his Seattle hometown Starbucks Coffee.
Kenny’s music has been included in some pretty monumental films, including the 1990 hit Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, & the 1992 hit The Bodyguard with Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.
Even though the weather looked doubtful, with heavy rain leading up to the start of the event, the festival drew a large crowd that thoroughly enjoyed the lineup with dry skies above. That was until, almost to the moment, that Kenny G hit his first note. From then the skies opened, and the rain fell, but the crowds remained, enjoying the silky smooth melodies of Kenny G.
Photos courtesy of Neekrung.