Crosstown Arts presents Kafé Kirk with Kirk Whalum and special guest Keiko Matsui in Crosstown Theater.
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Box office opens at 5PM | Doors open at 5:30PM
Show begins at 6PM
Tickets: SOLD OUT
Join Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum for Kafé Kirk, an ongoing jazz series in Crosstown Theater featuring musical and spiritual collaborations with special guest artists. This iteration’s performance will feature jazz pianist Keiko Matsui.
Keiko who masters the delicate balance between career and motherhood (she has two daughters) feels an urgency to leave the world a better place for future generations. “I want to make a positive impact for children in this generation and the future. Through prayer and my music, I hope to be able to increase more harmony on this planet.” Keiko succeeds in conjuring a harmonious affair on Euphoria.
“Through prayer and my music, I hope to be able to increase harmony on this planet.”- Keiko Matsui
Soulful, passionate, stirring…these are the words most often used to describe Kirk’s music. Forged from his Memphis, Tennessee, gospel roots and his 1980s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The ’80s were highlighted by Kirk’s stepping out of his blossoming sideman role and forming his own band. It was there that Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene—especially at a rooftop club called Cody’s. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album. As well, Kirk and Bob received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album, Joined at the Hip. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in demand session player for top artists like, Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, 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 phenomenal hit album released on Warner Bros. Records, For You, perhaps the most successful of over 25 solo recordings to date; others include his eclectic, and much lauded, Gospel According to Jazz series, (Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4). In addition to his many solo projects, Kirk was also a member of the popular soul/jazz group, BWB, which features Kirk as the “W” of the group with Rick Braun (trumpet) and Norman Brown (guitar).
Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgements for his musical excellence including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination and has won two Stellar Awards- Gospel music’s highest honor. A twelve time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy award (2011)for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”—featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted songwriter, Jerry Peters.