Kirk Whalum is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence, including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination and two Stellar Awards (Gospel music’s highest honor). An 11-time Grammy nominee, he won his first Grammy award for Best Gospel Song, “It’s What I Do” featuring Lalah Hathaway. In the 80’s, Whalum stepped out of his blossoming sideman role and formed his own band. It was then that he developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” Whalum and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, his first #1 album. After moving to Los Angeles, he became an in demand session player for artists such as Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, and Quincy Jones. You can hear his sax on the mega-hit “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston. To learn more about Kirk Whalum, visit