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Kirk Whalum

   

"The transparency of the D'Addario Tenor Saxophone Select Jazz reeds was immediately apparent. They have the crispness and clarity I was lacking."

 

   



ABOUT KIRK WHALUM

Soulful, passionate, stirring...these are the words most often used to describe Kirk’s music. Forged from his Memphis, (TN) gospel roots and his 1980‘s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The 80’s were highlighted by Kirk’s stepping out of his blossoming sideman role and forming his own band. It was there that Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene––especially at a rooftop club called Cody’s. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album.

Kirk and Bob also received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album, Joined at the Hip. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in demand session player for top artists like, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston, among many others.Kirk’s hit album, For You, was released on the heels of his featured saxophone solo in Whitney’s Houston’s mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” For You was followed by more than 25 eclectic and celebrated solo recordings, including his acclaimed Gospel According to Jazz series, (Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4). In addition to his many solo projects, Kirk was also a member of the popular soul/jazz group, BWB, which features Kirk as the “W” of the group with Rick Braun (trumpet) and Norman Brown (guitar). As an ordained minister with a Masters of Art in Religion, Kirk’s spirit is led to actively serve his community through both music and ministry. Kirk produces a daily fifteen-minute podcast, Bible In Your Ear (BIYE), in which he invites the listener along as he reads through the Bible in a year. Through his work as a music professor at Visible Music College, Kirk also demonstrates his passion for educating young, aspiring musicians in his hometown of Memphis, TN.

Whallum has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence—three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination, and two Stellar Awards- Gospel music’s highest honor. A twelve time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy award (2011) for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”––featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted songwriter, Jerry Peters. In a career spanning decades, Kirk has a sound that is uniquely his; it is a sound that leaves an indelible imprint on the listener.