Kirk Whalum - It's What I Do - 2011 Grammy Winner!

Sax in the City - Kirk Whalum

Born into a musical family, Kirk first expressed his interest in music on the drums, switching to saxophone in Jr.

Born into a musical family, Kirk first expressed his interest in music on the drums, switching to saxophone in Jr. Kirk began playing local functions and clubs while still in high school. A music scholarship brought him to Texas Southern University in Houston, beginning his road to musical maturity. There were so many live music venues then.. I have memories of hanging out with Sonny Stitt and Rollins..

His musical reputation as well as his local following grew. Kirk became a member of his touring band and eventually snagged a recording deal with Columbia Records. But it was the release of Cache that put Kirk on the charts. That CD went to 1 and remained there for five weeks. Other releases on that label include And You Know That! The Promise and In This Life. In Kirk received a serendipitous phone call from jazz guitarist Larry Carlton.

Larry had heard this warm, passionate sax on the radio in Los Angeles and traced it to its creator, Kirk. It was during that recording that I decided to move to Los Angeles. Her powerful gift impacted me profoundly-much like the many gospel singers who influenced the both of us. I will always treasure being there to watch her make history time and time again. But Kirk had another passion. It was a dream come true and I vowed that I would live there some day. Kirk began his relationship with Warner Bros.

Records in when he and Bob James collaborated on Joined at the Hip and received a Grammy nomination for their effort. Kirk later signed with Warner Bros. That project received rave reviews as well as both Stellar and Dove nominations.

Two Grammy nominations soon followed. This project quickly rose to the top of the Smooth Jazz charts and dominated Smooth Jazz radio for several months. Kirk explains the concept behind Roundtrip: So, I decided to alternate between records of covers and originals. For my new CD, I thought, 'Why not cover myself? I also put a fresh spin on some of my early releases such as, The Wave and Afterthought. As someone who loves working with young musicians, Kirk is most proud of his appointment as the first Artist-in-Residence of the STAX Music Academy in his hometown of Memphis.

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