August 18: Suite Jazz Series Presents Kevin Whalum w Karen Bryant
Programming on Jazz 91.9 WCLK is made possible in part by support from The Suite Food Lounge, 375 Luckie Street in the Downtown Atlanta entertainment district. Thursday night, August 18 The Suite Jazz Series presents Vocalist and Songwriter Kevin Whalum along with Karen Bryant. Doors open at 6:30pm with dinner and Jazz at 7:30pm. More information including reservations can be found at 404-577-2500 or at JazzBeat Promotions or eventbrite.com.
One would imagine, however, that Kevin is best known for his stellar work with Kirk on his brother’s gospel series entitled, Kirk Whalum, The Gospel According To Jazz, Chapters 1-4. Chapter One was released in 1998 to critical acclaim, and it put Kevin on everyone’s radar with his medley take on the Negro spirituals, Wade In The Water/Motherless Child. It broke new ground in gospel. No one had tried anything that daring vocally in the genre’ previously. When he and Kirk performed the song later that year on the Stellar Awards broadcast, the audience gave them a standing ovation. That was a pivotal moment. “Yeah, that was special. I knew I was in front of some gospel purists who believe gospel should be one thing and one thing only, but I reject the notion that praise for the Almighty has anything to do with a certain group of chords, or a certain rhythmic pattern. Gospel is defined as the good news, and as long as that is what fills my heart as I perform, that is what will exude from me as I stand before God’s children anywhere in the world; in churches or nightclubs. They will feel me if they allow themselves to, and aren’t too busy judging me because I sound a little different than what they consider gospel. If you love Jesus as I do, you will feel me.”