Tuesday, 14/11/2023 12:00

Grammy award-winning artist Kenny G donates saxophone for charity cause

HÀ NỘI — One of the best-selling instrumental artists of all time, Grammy award-winning saxophonist Kenny G is in Hà Nội, ready for his concert at the Mỹ Đình National Convention Hall tonight (November 14).

His concert, the second after first playing in Việt Nam seven years ago, marks the opening of ‘Good Morning Vietnam’, an international music project dedicated to the community in the Southeast Asia country.

Grammy award-winning musician Kenny G hands over a saxophone to Lê Quốc Minh, Editor-in-chief of Nhân Dân newspaper. The item will go under the hammer at an auction soon after the concert. — Photo courtesy of Hòa Nguyễn

The project, initiated by Nhân Dân (People) newspaper, aims to support families of Vietnamese invalids and martyrs, as well as pupils and teachers working in remote areas.

Talking with local media in a press conference in Hà Nội yesterday, the famous saxophonist said he is very excited to come back to perform in Việt Nam.

“My team and I didn’t know that our music was so popular here. And now, when I know about that, I hope I will have a chance to perform here in Việt Nam more,” Kenny G said.

The 67-year-old artist surprised the conference attendees by playing a short tune from Forever in Love.

During the one-night-only concert, the American saxophonist will enchant the audience with several of his hits such as Going Home, The Joy of Life, Forever in Love, Sentimental, By the Time This Night Is Over, Songbird, Havana, The Moment, and My Heart Will Go On

Kenny G plays a short tune from ''Forever in Love'' at a press conference in Hà Nội yesterday. — Photo courtesy of Hòa Nguyễn

The repertoire will also include a song from his 20th studio album, Innocence, which will be available in early December.

Earlier, the Việt Nam-based international-standard concert organiser IB Group – one of two concert organisers, suggested a repertoire including a Vietnamese folk tune. They sent the artist the sheet music of Bèo Dạt Mây Trôi (Floating Water-ferns and Wandering Clouds) – a very popular folk song. However, the artist wasn't able to make it work this time.

“I was busy travelling all over the world over the past months for my concert tour and didn’t have time to work with that piece because to be able to play a tune, it is more than playing music notes. I listened to it and found the melody quite interesting,” he said.

Kenny G, renowned for his contributions to music, has recently expanded his philanthropic efforts. In addition to being the first international artist to perform at a charity concert, he generously donated a saxophone to support individuals facing challenging circumstances, with a focus on helping children.

This donation holds sentimental value, as the saxophone is a replica of a 1950 model that Kenny G played during his student days, a version no longer in production. His involvement in this project, especially following his second visit to Viet Nam, demonstrates his dedication to using his platform for meaningful causes.

Lê Quốc Minh, Editor-in-chief of Nhân Dân newspaper, gives Kenny G a Bát Tràng ceramic vase depicting images of famous sights in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of Hòa Nguyễn

According to Lê Quốc Minh, Editor-in-chief of Nhân Dân newspaper, the item will go under the hammer at an auction soon after the concert.

“We have some enterprises and individuals who show interest in the auction and wish to own this meaningful saxophone. The auction of this item will contribute significantly to our funds to support people in difficult circumstances."

To show their great appreciation for the guest artist, the concert organiser gave him a Bát Tràng ceramic vase depicting images of famous spots in Hà Nội such as One Pillar Pagoda and Flag Tower.

Before arriving in Hà Nội, the Kenny G team sent a 60-page list of requirements on accommodation, transportation, sound equipment, and stage, aiming to guarantee the best quality for the concert.

On his first visit to Việt Nam seven years ago, the artist was impressed by the Vietnamese bún chả -- vermicelli with grilled pork and fresh herbs. So this time, one of his requirements is to sample the dish again, which is one of the characteristic foods of Hà Nội.

After the concert, the artist said that he would travel to Đà Nẵng and Hội An, where “I can explore this beautiful country for the first time.”

Kenny G is an American composer, producer, and saxophone legend with hundreds of instrumental music pieces. In 1994, he won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for Forever in Love. He has sold over 75 million records worldwide and became one of the best-selling artists of all time. He became a very familiar name for Vietnamese audiences during the 1990s. — VNS

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