Brass note on Beale to mark Kirk Whalum’s sax power


Kirk Whalum will be honored with a note on the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame on September 12 at 11:30 a.m. in front of the Halloran Centre. The ceremony will be followed by a lunchtime mini-concert.

Surrounded by music from an early age – in his father’s church, around his piano teacher grandmother, seeing his uncle Hugh “Peanuts” Whalum on a home stop from his jazz touring – Whalum found his calling. Over the past three decades his saxophone skills have been sought after in studios, on tour, in clubs, in concert halls and across continents.

Whalum’s versatility with the saxophone traverses genres. He has worked with myriad and various artists, including Barbara Streisand, Babyface, Al Jarreau, Quicy Jones and Whitney Houston, with whom he toured for seven years.

He appears on 200-plus albums and 30 of his own solo recordings, including his “Gospel According to Jazz” series.

A Grammy winner for Best Gospel Song in 2011, Whalum is also an ordained minister with a Master of Arts in Religion from Memphis Theological Seminary. He produces the “Bible in Your Ear” podcast and served as unofficial chaplain for the Whitney Houston tours.

At present, Whalum is in heavy touring, with dates across North America, Europe and Africa. His next big project, a jazz series called Kafé Kirk, will debut at the Halloran Centre on October 7, with special guest artist New York-based Lindsey Webster.

The Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame program was created in 1986 to tie the historic musical traditions of the old Beale to the newly renovated entertainment district. The notes honor musicians, studio engineers, composers, radio personalities, promoters and others who have made significant contributions to Memphis area music.