Grammy® Award Winner and Global Recording Artist Kirk Whalum is set to release his new album Humanité October 11, 2019 by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group. Humanité is unlike any album Kirk has ever made – the sonic synergistic result of encounters made and relationships formed onstage and off with top emerging artists and Top 5 recording artists from around the world.
The album was produced by Kirk and his longtime friend and producer, the British jazz trumpeter and session musician James McMillan. Over a period of three months in 2018, Kirk and James recorded the soul-drenched, emotional and highly melodic tracks in locations ranging from studios in Jakarta, Tokyo, Paris, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Hastings, to hotel rooms, office buildings and even Kirk’s living room in his hometown, Memphis, Tenn.
Collaborators on the album include Japan’s jazz pianist Keiko Matsui; the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star singer/actor Afgan, all hailing from Indonesia; soulful singer/jazz guitarist Andréa Lisa from New Zealand; superstar vocalist/guitarist Zahara from South Africa; Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi; andLiane Carroll, long considered by cognoscenti to be the UK’s premier female jazz voice.
“I kept bumping into these amazing artists from all over the world and I wanted to make some crazy music with them and prove this point – that we are all one,” says Kirk. “That’s the DNA of it. Like we say in the artwork, ‘With one voice, sometimes with words, we speak.’ This is the essential reality of being a world musician.”
Standout tracks that showcase the album’s harmonious mix of American jazz, blues, funk and pop, along with global indigenous musical forms, abound on Humanitéand include the high velocity fusion track, “Korogocho,” featuring renowned jazz master bassist Marcus Miller in a death-defying duel with young Indonesian bass sharp-shooter Barry Likumahuwa; a silky ballad about the power of education and enlightenment, “Wake Up Everybody,” featuring Indonesian superstar, Afgan; and the uplifting, gorgeous contemporary jazz/R&B track and debut single, “Get Your Wings Up,” featuring guitarist/vocalist Andréa Lisa.
Kirk was just nine years old when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis just blocks away from the Whalum family home. That shattering event shaped young Kirk’s worldview. But rather than turn him cynical, as he grew older his spiritual upbringing led him to embrace Dr. King’s vision of “The BelovedCommunity.” This message is the ethos of Humanité – the greater good inherent in all of global humanity will lead to a society based on justice, civil rights and love of one’s fellow humans, and an insatiable curiosity about the exquisitely unique musical offerings from each and every corner of our global common-unity.
“Music is the language that communicates across borders. Music can break and enter into a person’s soul,” said Kirk. “The difference is that she is not there to take, she’s there to give, to leave something when she goes.”
- Move On Upfeaturing Brendan Reilly (UK)
- Everybody Oughta Be Freefeaturing Robyn Troop (USA)
- Don’t Get Me Wrong(I’m Grateful) featuring Mi Casa (South Africa)
- Wake Up Everybodyfeaturing Afgan (Indonesia)
- Wildflowerfeaturing Liane Carroll (UK)
- Get Your Wings Upfeaturing Andréa Lisa (South Africa)
- Now I Knowfeaturing Zahara (South Africa)
- SJLfeaturing Keiko Matsui (Japan)
- Korogochofeaturing Marcus Miller and Barry Likumahuwa (New
- Blow 4U
- Kwetu featuring Ghetto Classics and Aaron Rimbui (Kenya)
- Peacefeaturing Grace Sahertian (Indonesia)
- We Shall Overcome Youfeaturing Asa (France)
- From The East To The Westfeaturing Heavenese (Japan)
See Kirk On Tour:
September 1, 2019 | Charleston, SC | Charleston Gaillard Center
September 7, 2019 | Rockville Center, NY | Madison Theatre at Molloy College
September 21, 2019 | Mableton, GA | Mabel House Barnes Amphitheater
November 8-11, 2019 | San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico | Omnia Dayclub Los Cabos
January 16 -19, 2020 | Washington, D.C. | Blues Alley
January 25 – February 1, 2020 | Fort Lauderdale, FL | Blue Note Cruise
February 7, 2020 | Marietta, GA | Zion Baptist Church
About Kirk Whalum:
Forged from his Memphis, TN gospel roots and the thriving Houston, TX music scene in his early career, Kirk Whalum’s big, rich tenor saxophone sound is unmistakably his. It was in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” Kirk and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first No. 1 album. Kirk became an in-demand session player for top artists such as Barbra Streisand, Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones and most notably, Whitney Houston, amongst many others. It’s his sax heard on the mega-hit, “I Will Always Love You.” Kirk soon followed that career high point with his Warner Bros. Records album, For You, one of his most successful of over 25 solo recordings to date; others include his eclectic Gospel According to Jazz series, (Chapters I, II, III, IV). Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence, including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination, and Stellar Awards. A twelve-time Grammy® nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy® Award for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do” featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters, who also penned the timeless “Goin’ In Circles” for the Friends of Distinction.