Primary Instrument: Vocalist
No doubt many of you reading this are already familiar with Kevin Whalum. A veteran jazz-soul vocalist, he is one of music’s brightest gems. His latest radio single is a beautiful soul ballad called, “Why?”, that was co-written by Kevin and the great George Duke. On it, he shares vocal duties with the very jazzy, Lynne Fiddmont. Kevin said he wrote the song with Lynne’s voice in his head as the female lead. It is a stunning and powerful duet. Also receiving airplay from his latest CD, One Life To Love, is a remake of the soul classic, “How Sweet It Is(To Be Loved By You)”. Last year, Kevin released a classic Luther Vandross song-a duet with songstress, Lalah Hathaway-called, “Make Me A Believer”, on his brother Kirk’s The Gospel According To Jazz, Chapter III Live CD & DVD. In October, he found out that the song had received a Stellar Award nomination for Best Video. In 2007, another classic Luther recording was recorded by Kevin and jazz vocalist, Maysa, called “There’s Nothing Better Than Love”, that was played all across jazz radio. At once a singer- songwriter, actor, and all-around performer, he is uniquely suited to communicate his love of life to those who most need music’s healing properties. The name of his CD, One Life To Love, underscores that belief.
Kevin has worked with some of music’s most respected artists, including his brother, legendary jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Michael McDonald, Take 6, Lalah Hathaway, Maysa Leak, Kim Burrell, Patti Austin, Tommy Sims, Bob James, Wynonna Judd, Jonathan Butler, and James Ingram. He attributes his success in this industry to a hand held firmly by Jesus himself. He also believes that the personal struggles he has endured including losing his father to stroke, and himself battling against the onslaught of diabetes, have worked together to prepare him for experiences that were at one time beyond his paradigm. “I have been blessed to record songs that people tell me they listen to everyday to help them cope with life. I was in a mall in Johannesburg, South Africa a couple of years ago, and an African gentleman who worked in a record store saw me and asked our tour manager if that was Kevin Whalum. Our manager said, ‘Yes’, and introduced us. The guy lost it! Turns out, he owned a concert DVD I was featured in called, ‘The Gospel According To Jazz, Chapter II’, and he watched it all the time! I was so humbled by that.”
2013 is the year that Kevin Whalum will become even more visible in the music industry. Those of you on the East Coast will see more of him than you have in the past, so keep your ears open! George Duke and Rex Rideout produced his latest CD, One Life To Love, and the reviews so far attest that Kevin’s voice, along with the songwriting, is extraordinary!
A native Memphian, Kevin has also lived in Atlanta, Chicago, and now finds himself back in Tennessee residing in Nashville. He is married and is the father of lovely twin girls.