Tony Wafford and Kenny G One Woman Can and AHF Partner to Provide Free Concert Tickets and HIV Tests
In a recording career that spans almost three decades and 23 albums, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G has grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation solidifying his reputation as the premiere artist in contemporary music. Since the early ’80s, his combination of unparalleled instrumental chops and indelible melodies has resulted in sales of more than 75 million records worldwide (45 million in the U.S. alone) and more than a dozen climbs to the top of Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. Kenny G has had more Billboard #1 Contemporary Jazz Albums than any other artist in history.
Kenny G is partnering with Tony Wafford and I Choose Life Health and Wellness Center and the National Action Network to help lovers and others share the perfect Valentine’s Day gift: protection from infection of HIV/AIDS. Kenny G and Michael Bolton will be performing a special Valentine’s Day concert at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California on February 14 and as an incentive for testing, he has offered tickets to the show.
Wafford said he was pleased that when asked to support I Choose Life’s efforts around HIV/AIDS, Kenny G said without hesitation that he would be more than happy to do that.
“The fact that I Choose Life has united with Kenny G, who has donated his tickets to help educate and to test African American people for HIV, primarily African American women; the fastest growing demographic of new infections, just shows that everybody can help,” said Wafford. Although Kenny G attracts a diverse audience to his concerts, he receives overwhelming turnouts by the African American community.
Wafford added, “It’s not limited just to Black people to help Black people. And, African American people have played a tremendous role in his success as an artist,” Wafford said.
Following up on the success of Rhythm and Romance, his first Latin jazz album and his Concord debut in 2008, his new CD, Heart and Soul captures the spirit and the vibe of the classic R&B that Kenny grew up listening to in his native Seattle. “If I were to go back and start all over again, recording my first CD, I think this would be it,” he says. “It’s true to my roots, it has soul, and it has the kind of R&B that influenced me in the first place. Making this record was a heartfelt experience. It took a year and a half to finish, because we paid a lot of attention to every song, every melody, every note,” said Kenny.
“In many respects, the album takes me back to the beginning – the R&B of the early and mid 1970s that I soaked up during my teen years at an inner-city Seattle high school where I mixed with a culturally diverse student body at a young age. Inspired by the likes of Earth, Wind & Fire and Grover Washington, Jr., I was only 17 when I landed a gig with Barry White and his Love Unlimited Orchestra at the Paramount Northwest Theater (now the Paramount Theater) in 1973,” said Kenny.
Sharon White, founder of OneWoman Can and Thelma McClendon outreach worker for AIDS Health Care Foundation, has partnered with Wafford for the effort by creating a special program for women who have agreed to learn their status in exchange for the donated tickets. The women will also get to meet Kenny G and take photos during a backstage meet-and-greet after the concert.
The Kenny G / Michael Bolton concert will be held February 14 at 8:15 at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City. The ticketing link to the Valentine’s show is: http://www.livenation.com/event/090045961B6E6B09?artistid=736524&majorcatid=10001&minorcatid=4. Vist Kenny G’s website at www.kennyg.com.