Kirk Whalum returns for new radio show,
annual Gospel concert
Grammy Award-winning jazz saxophonist and gospel artist Kirk Whalum is set to debut a show on Texas Southern University’s iconic station, KTSU 90.9 FM. The Kirk Whalum Show will premiere November 23 and the live, two-hour show will air every Wednesday at 5 pm. The program will be filled with music, talk and inspiration. Whalum graduated from Texas Southern in 1982 with a degree in music.
Whalum will be joined by jazz artists Keiko Matsui and Norman Brown when he presents his annual Gospel According to Jazz Christmas Concert on December 2 at Texas Southern. The live performance will be available online at www.ktsufm.org or via the station’s broadcast app.
The Kirk Whalum Show is the newest addition to an improved and expanded KTSU lineup introduced by Ernest Walker, the station’s general manager. Walker joined KTSU in April 2015.
Whalum is an ordained minister and the recipient of numerous awards for musical excellence. He has received two Stellar Awards (Gospel music’s highest honor), three Dove Award nominations and an NAACP Image Award nomination. A 12-time Grammy nominee, Whalum won his first award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song, It’s What I Do – featuring Lalah Hathaway, in collaboration with lifelong friend and songwriter, Jerry Peters.
His big, rich tenor sax sound is unmistakable – Whalum’s soaring solo is heard on Whitney Houston’s mega-hit, I Will Always Love You. He is an in-demand session player for top artists such as Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and many others. He is a member of the popular soul/jazz group, BWB, which features Whalum with Rick Braun on trumpet and Norman Brown on guitar.
Whalum’s career was forged from his Memphis gospel roots and his 1980s initiation into the thriving Houston nightclub scene. He blossomed as a sideman and later, formed his own band. He developed his musical voice and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene, particularly at the rooftop club, Cody’s. Jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” Whalum and brought him on tour, a move that led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, his first #1 album. Whalum and James received a Grammy nomination for their LP, Joined at the Hip. Whalum later moved to Los Angeles and joined Warner Brothers Records, recording a hit album, For You. His career continued with 25 solo recordings and the acclaimed series, The Gospel According to Jazz (Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4).
For more information about Gospel According to Jazz Christmas Concert, visit www.tsu.edu.