Kenny G performed a spontaneous inflight concert this past weekend.
Passengers on a Delta flight were treated to the sweet sounds of Kenny G on a weekend flight from Tampa to Los Angeles. The saxophone legend walked up and down the aisle playing his instrument, giving all of those on board a mini concert after they donated to charity. According to Tampa Bay ABC affiliate WFTS, the passenger sitting next to Kenny G was an off-duty flight attendant who lost her daughter to brain cancer. She asked the musician if he could play. The head flight attendant on the Delta flight made announcement that Kenny G would perform if the passengers donates $1,000 to the Relay for Life cancer charity. Together the passengers raised about $2,000 as Kenny G soothed everyone with his infectious melodies.1
That incident reminded me of a briefer but nonetheless lovely airplane performance by a musical star. Returning from a vacation in Maui twenty-five years ago, Julie, da boyz, and I encountered a midnight layover in Los Angeles en route to our home in Chicago. We reboarded around 2 AM, falling back into semi-slumber as we were seated. We perked up, however, when the pre-flight announcements began with a familiar voice singing
I just called to say we’re leaving
Yep, Stevie Wonder and his crew had boarded the same flight to Chicago, and he had volunteered or been cajoled into singing that one line on the plane’s loudspeaker. After a brief pause to visually confirm it was indeed Stevie Wonder at the microphone, the passengers broke into applause.
While that L.A. to Chicago flight took place long before smartphone videos were possible, let alone ubiquitous, my memory of that instance is indelible. 2
- Kenny G surprises passengers with mid-flight performance on Delta plane by Brett Bodner. Daily News: April 24, 2017 [↩]
- And, with all respect to “the saxophone legend” and his fans, my personal calculus values a single (paraphrased) line by Stevie Wonder more than a flight-long strolling concert by Kenny G. [↩]