Observed annually on Oct. 2, the international day raises awareness about the importance of airway health.

Effective breathing is essential for acclaimed saxophonist Kenny G, one of the best-selling artists of all time and the biggest-selling instrumental musicians of the modern era. This year the Grammy Award winner whose music knows no border and brings people together has thrown his support behind Global Airway Health Day, an international event that takes place annually on Oct. 2.


“As someone that really needs proper breathing to do what I do, I’m here to help raise awareness for proper breathing,” says Kenny G in a video for the Foundation for Airway Health. “So I’d like to invite you to join us October 2nd for Global Airway Health Day.” The smooth jazzist then proceeds to serenade people with a beautiful melody.

The Seattle-born jazz master is also a master of breathing.

Like any wind instrument player, Kenny G depends on using his airway and lungs to play the great notes that have helped him sell more than 75 million records. Armed with his golden saxophone, he has released 17 albums since 1982. Along the way, the artist has won a Grammy, an American Music Award, an NAACP Image Award and a Soul Train Music Award, and earned another dozen Grammy nominations and a few other nods for the Billboard Awards and Latin Grammy.

As a unique musician who has been able to popularize instrumental music of different genres for a modern, pop audience, Kenny G has also collaborated with some of the world’s most popular artists. In fact, he started out playing with Barry White as a sideman for the legendary singer’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in 1973, when Kenny G was a 17-year-old high school student, and later with Jeff Lober in The Jeff Lorber Fusion. 

Kenny G’s Grammy Award-winning album.

Kenny G’s rendition of ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” led him to get signed by Clive Davis for Arista Records. He’s collaborated with Kashif, Lenny Williams, George Benson, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Andrea Bocelli, Aaron Neville, Toni Braxton, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Natalie Cole, Steve Miller, Weezer, Dudley Moore, Lee Ritenour, The Rippingtons, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra, Bebel Gilberto, and Smokey Robinson. 

His music has appeared in the movies Dying Young, The Bodyguard, the latter starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, as well as The Shadow and Miracle on 34th Street.

Other artists Kenny G has worked with include Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Richard Marx. 

Photo credits: Elton John (David Shankbone), Celine Dion (Anirudh Koul), The Weeknd (Nicolas Padovani), Andrea Bocelli (Jakub Janecki), Toni Braxton (Umusic), Barbra Streisand (NIH), Whitney Houston (PH2 Mark Kettenhofen/DefenseImagery)

As another sign of his perennial popularity and musical versatility, last year he collaborated with The Weeknd.

Like many of the world’s top wind instrumentalists, Kenny G relies on breathing to make his music and achieve success. He also uses circular breathing to sustain long tones without interruption, inhaling through the nose while simultaneously pushing air out through the mouth, using air stored in the cheeks. In short, blowing while inhaling.  

Kenny G’s second bossa nova album.

Developed independently by various cultures, including the Mongolians back in the 13th century, circular breathing is used to play many traditional wind instruments.

“Kenny G is part of a wonderful, centuries-old tradition that uses breathing to create amazing, inspiring music,” says Sal Rodas, executive director of the Foundation for Airway Health. 

So skillful is Kenny G in circular breathing that he used it to earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1997 for playing the longest note ever recorded on a saxophone: he held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds at J&R Music World in New York City.

“It is an honor to have this silky jazz maestro raising awareness about proper breathing,” states Dr. Howard Hindin, Foundation for Airway Health chairman. “His voice will help us reach out to millions of people and educate them about airway and breathing problems and conditions, which are rampant in epidemic proportions.”

To see the acclaimed musician using the circular breathing technique on stage, click here:

Effective breathing is a central theme of Global Airway Health Day on Oct. 2, 2021. Get your free tickets today at GlobalO2Day.org.