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Listening to Kenny G
Listening to Kenny G

HBO released the official trailer for the documentary Listening to Kenny G, a humorous but incisive look at the saxophonist Kenny G, the best-selling instrumental artist of all time, and quite possibly one of the most famous living musicians. Listening to Kenny G investigates the artist formerly known as Kenneth Gorelick, unravelling the allure of the man who played jazz so smoothly that a whole new genre formed around him, and questioning fundamental assumptions about art and excellence in the process. In his own words, Kenny G speaks candidly about his musical background, his stringent work ethic, and his controversial standing in the jazz canon.

Directed by Penny Lane (“Hail Satan?”), Listening to Kenny G debuts Thursday, December 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

Through several interviews with renowned jazz critics, music professors and writers, and including a new in-depth, intimate interview with the artist, Listening to Kenny G is a multifaceted exploration of the two extremes between the musician’s critics and his superfans, revealing a meditation on the larger idea of artistic taste and how our musical preferences define us.

Alternatively playful and probing, the documentary traces the artist’s career through pivotal moments: playing “Songbird” on The Tonight Show, his monumental record sales, his crushing reviews, his newfound fans on social media and his recent collaborations with Kanye West, The Weeknd and others. Dismissed by the media and mocked by the jazz establishment, Kenny G nevertheless embraces his detractors. Aware of how he is often perceived, he nevertheless strives to perfect his craft and to continually move forward in a changing musical landscape. What emerges in Listening to Kenny G is the portrait of an obsessive musician who still practices three hours a day in an effort to rise above his critics and to satisfy his fans, while also excelling at many of his hobbies, including golfing, flying, and investing.

Listening to Kenny G is part of the Music Box series executive produced by Bill Simmons (HBO’s “Andre The Giant,” “Showbiz Kids”).

Watch the official trailer for Listening to Kenny G

Following “Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage,” “Jagged,” and “DMX: Don’t Try to Understand,” subsequent films in the Music Box series include:

  • “Mr. Saturday Night” (December 9): The untold story of Robert Stigwood, the impresario behind “Saturday Night Fever” and its record-breaking disco soundtrack; directed by John Maggio.
  • Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss (December 16): An intimate and often eye-opening exploration of the life and all-too-short career of wunderkind rapper Juice WRLD; directed by Tommy Oliver.
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