Saxophonist Kirk Whalum to Release New Album “Epic Cool” on May 17th, 2024 | LISTEN! Announces New Tour Dates for 2024

Award Winning Saxophonist Kirk Whalum Announces
New Album Out May 17 via Mack Avenue Music Group/Artistry Music

First Single “Bah-De-Yah!” Available Today

Collection is Whalum’s First New Studio Work in Over Five Years

UPDATED May 1st, 2024: LISTEN to New Single “Pillow Talk” Below!

April 5, 2024: Today, award-winning Memphis-born jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum announces the release of his newest single “Bah-De-Yah!” taken from his upcoming album Epic Cool which releases May 17th via Mack Avenue Music Group/Artistry Music. For nearly four decades, the Grammy®-winning saxophonist has helped to define “cool,” whether blazing trails in contemporary jazz or infusing hits by Luther Vandross or Whitney Houston with an extra jolt of soul. His new album raises the bar once again, scaling up the hipness, vitality, soulfulness, and vibes to a monumental level. Pre-save the album here.

While perhaps best known for having performed one of the most listened-to sax solos ever – for Whiney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” – Whalum continues to push boundaries beyond genre and style. “I’m still on this path trying to do something important,” Whalum insists. “At 65, I still feel very young. I feel like I have a mandate to be the very best version of myself and to push down some more doors.”

That life encompasses more than 25 albums under Whalum’s own name, including a Grammy-nominated collaboration with pianist Bob James; his faith-and-soul melding Gospel According to Jazz series; and a trio of albums with the supergroup BWB, alongside guitarist Norman Brown and trumpeter Rick Braun. That’s in addition to his work alongside everyone from the late Joey DeFrancesco to such legends as Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, and Larry Carlton.

To achieve that goal Whalum partnered with Swiss-Nigerian producer/songwriter Greg Manning, whom he first encountered as a keyboardist with guitarist Jonathan Butler. “He’s European and yet he has an African soul,” Whalum says. “I wanted him to bring his classical training together with his understanding of traditional jazz for this project.”

“’Bah-De-Yah!’ represents what it feels like to LOVE LIFE! Co-writing this project with my brilliant Swiss soul brother Greg Manning, especially this song, felt like speed-gliding from my 19th year — studying in Paris — through my 29th year — first time performing in Switzerland — through my 34th year — moving to Paris with our four young kids — to my 37th year — playing alongside my boss, Whitney Houston, standing onstage with Nelson Mandela for the end of apartheid in S. Africa… ALL IN FOUR MINUTES! Joy, joy, a bit of gratitude, and an authentic croissant with S. African rooibos tea, and then just more joy… Can’t imagine what fun 66 will bring, but this record makes me more excited than ever!!”

The eleven tracks on the album span all the touchstones of the artist’s repertoire, kicking off with the funk of “Bah-De-Yah!,” the finger-snapping sultriness of “Pillow Talk,” and the soaring balladry of “Through the Storm” and “You & Sunday Morning.” “Crusaderation” pays tribute to one of Whalum’s key influences, the Jazz Crusaders – Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson and Wilton Felder. Their importance to Whalum is reflected in the very special line-up for the track – the rare convergence of the saxophonist’s musical family, including son Kyle on bass and nephews Kameron on trombone and Kenneth III on tenor. All three bring a solid foundation from the pop world – Kameron tours with Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak, Kenneth is a successful solo artist who has worked with Beyoncé and Kanye West, and Kyle plays in the house bands for The Voice and The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Whalum will bring his Epic Cool nationwide on his upcoming tour following the release.

Photo Credit: Evelyn Freja

1. Bah-De-Yah! 4:18
2. Crusaderation 4:48
3. Pillow Talk 4:33
4. Epic Cool 4:50
5. Through the Storm 4:30
6. Kori feat. Doc Powell 4:27
7. Love & Healing feat. Andréa Lisa 4:07
8. MF feat. Marcus Finnie & The Kirk Whalum Band 4:02
9. Film Noir 4:32
10. Well Alright feat. Andrew Ford & Nick Mancini 4:25
11. You & Sunday Morning 4:26

Producer: Greg Manning, except “Crusaderation” produced by Kirk Whalum

Tour Dates- More to be Announced:
April 6-7 – Berks Jazz Festival – Reading, PA
April 12 – Berk Jazz Festival – Reading, PA
April 30 – May 14 – Dave Koz and Friends at Sea 2024 – Athens, Greece
June 2 – Kafé Kirk – Memphis, TN
June 8 – Thornton Winery – Temecula, CA
June 21-23 – Blues Alley Club – Washington, DC
June 26-27 – Blue Note – Tokyo, Japan
July 26-28 – The Jazz Kitchen – Indianapolis, IN
August 11 – Long Beach Jazz Festival – Long Beach, CA
August 16 – Norfolk Jazz Festival – Norfolk, VA
August 21 – Aretha Franklin Amphitheater – Detroit, MI
August 23 – Fresh Coast Jazz Festival – Milwaukee, WI
August 31 – Park Evans Amphitheater – Cleveland, OH
September 12-15 – Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley – Seattle, WA
September 27 – Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts – New Orleans, LA

Follow Kirk Whalum
Missing Piece Group

MORE News on T.U.M.S.!

Lalah Hathaway Releases New Single "I Am" | LISTEN! New Album "VANTABLACK" Drops June 14th, 2024
Legendary Singer Freda Payne Releases New Single "Just To Be With You" (Golden Promises Mix) | LISTE...
Gospel Singer/Actress Christina Bell Releases New Single "Still Holding On" | WATCH NEW VIDEO!
R&B Singer Chris Gees Releases New Single "Try Love" | LISTEN!
Dutch Producer The Packxsz Releases Remix of Groove Theory's "Tell Me (The Packxsz Bump Mix)" | LIST...
Keke Palmer to Partner with The SRG-ILS Group for New Music Release in Early Summer 2024
R&B/Jazz Saxophonist Isaac Edwards Releases New Single “With You” | LISTEN!
UK R&B Singer Lewis Edwards Releases New Single "If I Couldn't" | LISTEN!
NEW VOICES: R&B Singer Katrina Carson to Release New Single "Selfish" on June 7th, 2024
Christian/R&B Singer TreVante Releases New Single "Remember" | LISTEN!
The Jeremy Ledbetter Trio to Release New Project "Gravity" on Sept. 13th, 2024
Pianist/Keyboardist Jesse ”JTJazz” Thompson Releases New Single "Late Nite" feat. Saxophonist Judah ...
Big O Holdings LLC and Sony Music Publishing To Administer Otis Redding Catalog
Brazilian Jazz Pianist/Vocalist Eliane Elias to Release New Album "Time And Again" on June 28th, 202...
Jazz Vocalist Synia Carroll Releases New Album "Water Is My Song" | LISTEN!
R&B Singer Roderick Harper to Release New Single "Love Is In The Air" on May 31st, 2024
Milton Nascimento and esperanza spalding to Release New Collaboration "Milton + esperanza" on August...
Terri Green Presents The Weather Girls & New Single "Supa Luv" | LISTEN!
22-Year-Old Trumpeter Summer Camargo Releases New Debut Album "To Whom I Love" | WATCH NEW VIDEO!
Jazz Keyboardist Oli Silk Releases New Album "In Real Life" | LISTEN!
R&B Singer MONIFAH Releases New Single "TESTIFY" | LISTEN! New Album "Grace at Midnight" Coming in F...
Kenny G to Publish Memoir "Life In The Key Of G" with Blackstone Publishing on Sept. 24th, 2024
Aderemi Kabaka's Rare Album "Roots Funkadelia" to be Released on June 7th, 2024 | LISTEN!
Glasshaus Presents Bilal feat. Questlove, Common, Robert Glasper, & Burniss Travis - "Live at Glassh...
Legendary R&B Group The Spinners Releases New Album "Full Circle" | LISTEN!
U.K. Songstress Gabrielle to Release New Album "A Place in Your Heart" on May 10th, 2024 | LISTEN!
Saxophonist Evan Carydakis Releases New Single "Paradise Beach" | LISTEN!
Singer Fred White to Release Cover of Classic Hit "People Make The World Go Round" on May 10th, 2024...
Violinist Alexa Torres & Her Quartet to Release New Album "In Situ" on June 14th, 2024
Vocalist Milton Suggs & Pianist Michael King to Release New Project "Pure Intention" on July 12th, 2...
Guitarist Keith Andrew to Release New Single "Sapphire Cove" on May 31st, 2024 | LISTEN!
Gospel Singer Tasha Cobbs Leonard to Release New Book "Do It Anyway: Don’t Give Up Before It Gets Go...
Producer Eric "E Will" Williams with R&B Icons Coko and K-Ci Hailey Release New Single "Crazy For Yo...
Trumpeter/Singer Jeremy Turgeon Releases New Single "Turned It Around" | LISTEN!
Reggae Legend Beres Hammond Releases New Single "Let Me Help You" | LISTEN!
Music Legend Maurice White’s Final Recordings "Manifestation" Coming May 3rd, 2024 | WATCH & LISTEN!
Lalah Hathaway Releases New Single "So In Love" | WATCH NEW VIDEO! New Album "VANTABLACK" Arrives Ju...
Pianist Nduduzo Makhathini Releases New Single “Izinkonjana” | LISTEN! Announces New European & U.S....
NEW VOICES: Dallas Based R&B Singer Eve Rosja Drops New Single "In The Middle of the Game" | LISTEN!
Jazz Sax Legend John Klemmer Releases New Album “Chateau Love” | LISTEN!