If you believe the tenor saxophone solo played in Whitney Houston’s megahit, “I Will Always Love You” was soulful, passionate and stirred your emotions, you won’t want to miss out on who’s coming to South Africa. Johannesburg and Pretoria will welcome multiple GRAMMY® nominee and award-winner Kirk Whalum from 23 to 27 July, with his intimate tour segmented between the Best of Kirk Whalum and The Gospel According to Jazz.
As an internationally renowned saxophonist, jazz and gospel artist, Kirk Whalum will be joined by recording artist, song writer and producer John Stoddart, whose musical resume is peppered with other musical greats from Celine Dion to Al Jarreau.
The Best of Kirk Whalum
Kirk has a genuine, deep love for South African performers – from his initial love of musical greats Jonathan Butler, Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela, to his very own dream-come-true working with Butler and later performing at the Cape Town Jazz Fest and The South African State Theatre in Pretoria.
Kirk and John will end off their intimate tour on Sunday 27 July at the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens. Supporting acts include the Freeborns, a group of children from Eersterust Tshwane taking the musical industry by storm, and Cape Town based, The Jonathan Rubain Band. Says Kirk: “I met and heard the amazing Jonathan Rubain in Paarl, and immediately, I’m ashamed to say even while he was performing I was distracted by making plans to record with him and his band!
The Gospel According to Jazz
According to Kirk, The Gospel According to Jazz (GATJ) is an American brand that is too secular to be “Gospel,” and too Gospel to be quite secular. “By God’s amazing grace, it’s found a quite comfortable home in the hearts of S. Africans. This is one of the brightest moments in my life and career, to be accepted by the incredibly gifted people of this country. I never imagined it. Even when I was onstage as a sideman with Whitney, I never imagined that my own music would be accepted here, especially the GATJ.”
Kirk describes South Africa as “his favourite country”. Here’s why: “I fell in love with ZA in 1994 when I performed with Whitney Houston there. It was… magical. As an African American, I was wired to expect racial tension from the second I arrived. But that wasn’t the case. The people, all the people I met were so genuinely kind and welcoming, so hospitable. Falling in love with ZA (!) was one of the best “beginnings” in my life.”
The Kirk Whalum featuring John Stoddart intimate duet tour is proudly brought to you by “So Awesome Presents”. Tickets can be booked through Computicket. Follow the show on Facebook Facebook.com/SoAwesomePresents or Twitter @SoAwesomeEvents
Gospel according to Jazz
• 23 & 24 July, Rhema Ministries, 7.30pm, Randburg, Johannesburg
• 26 July A Rivers Runs Through It, 7.00pm, Centurion, Pretoria
The Best of Kirk Whalum
• 25 July July, Bassline, 8:00pm, Newton (JHB)
• 26 July, Bassline, 10:00pm, Newtown (JHB)
• 27 July, Pretoria Botanical Gardens with supporting acts, gates open at 11am
For a chance to win* double tickets and a meet-and-greet with Kirk Whalum, enter our competition on Facebook www.facebook.com/SoAwesomePresents
*The competition winner will be refunded their tickets if they have already purchased tickets, or can offer them to friends to share in this memorable performance.