Dave Koz (March 27, 1963) is an American saxophonist. Because they look and sound similar, Koz often draws comparisons to another well-known saxophonist, David Sanborn, and is sometimes billed as "the second coming of Sanborn." He usually plays soprano or alto saxophones, but sometimes plays tenor and occasionally baritone saxophone.
Dave Koz was born on March 27, 1963 in Encino, California. From an early age, he and his sister took piano lessons. "My mom basically forced my sister and me to play piano from when we were toddlers. I hated piano; I was never any good at it. But I have to thank her now for making me do it, because I write most of my songs on the piano." Around age nine, he began taking drum lessons, but notes that he was not very good at drums, "I am the world's worst drummer. I could not keep time to save my life." At age 13, his brother, Jeff, had a band that Dave wanted to be in, but his brother told him over and over that there was no way he could be in it. Dave eventually wore him down, and his brother told him that the only way he could be in the band was if he could play the saxophone, because their band did not have a saxophonist. That was all he needed to hear. Two years later, he was in the band and working gigs with the band and by himself.
Dave attended William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills, performing on saxophone as a member of the school jazz band. He later graduated from UCLA with a degree in mass communications in 1986, and only weeks after his graduation, decided to make a go of becoming a professional musician. Within weeks of that decision, he was recruited as a member of Bobby Caldwell's tour. For the rest of the 1980s, Koz served as a session musician in several bands, toured with artists such as Jeff Lorber & Richard Marx, and played in the house band of CBS' short-lived The Pat Sajak Show, with Tom Scott as bandleader.