September 16, 2012

An evening with Kirk Whalum & his family

Let me first start this post off by saying that I am listening to Kirk Whalum's newest album, Romance Language and I tell you it is smooth, sensuous, and just simply breezy. Ok now back to the task at hand.

I had the pleasure of going to this concert because my mom informed me that a friend of her's who was an AKA (Alpha Kappa Alpha) was selling VIP tickets for one of their fundraisers. My mom asked if I wanted to go and if you know me, you know my answer was a resounding, YES!!

So the venue where the event was held is the Sheldon Concert Hall. I've been there before but for the life of me could not remember why! We arrived around 3pm for the VIP Reception which entailed a bar and a table of  hors d'oeuvres. (I'm just gonna inject this little rant here: I hate the word hors d'oeuvres, why don't they just say appetizers, that's what they were, ok rant over.) So the room aka Atrium where the reception was hosted was brimming wall to wall with AKA's as well as other sororities and Fraternities as well as their spouses and/or friends.

I wasn't feeling the APPETIZERS so I decided to go to the bar for a Shirley Temple (I don't care laugh, I drove to the event, momma was a passenger. lol) and my mom asked for a white Zinfandel. So upon arriving at the bar I noticed the price list. Can you believe they wanted $2.25 for a damn cup of soda and on top of that my Shirley Temple was more Sprite and barely had any time of cherry juice in it. Well if I thought that was bad....just'll love this, mom's SMALL cup of wine was.......$6.00, yep. I told  her she might want to SIP on it slowly to make it worth her while. I've been to venues where the bar can be on the "upscale" side but damn I felt I was on a cliff and just got kicked in the backside.

Eventually my mom found her friend  who invited her to the event and also a few of my relatives were also there as well. We chatted for a bit and then mom and I made our way to the main hall to take our seats. The seats were AWESOME!!!

My seat was da BOMB!

Everybody else

As I am waiting for the concert to begin I take a look at the program I was handed while walking in. Apparently it was a concert not only for Kirk but also to pay homage to his uncle Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum. He is a well known jazz artist in his own right.

The program

The uncle: Peanuts Whalum

Before the concert starts the President of the AKA Gamma Omega Chapter comes on stage to welcome everyone and to introduce a speaker who is well known in the Saint Louis Jazz Community. 

He speaks a bit and then introduces Peanuts Whalum onto the stage. The elder gentleman who is 84 years old is assisted on the stage and he is presented with two proclamations. Shortly afterwords we find out that the AKA's Gamma Omega Chapter will be putting in an official recommendation application for Peanuts Whalum to get a start on the Saint Louis Walk of fame in the Delmar Loop.

Proclamation 1

Proclamation 2

At this time people from Kirk's band are coming on stage to get ready for the performance. Kirk comes on shortly and I tell ya the man can BLOW and his band can JAM! 

drummer - He was no joke!

Bass - knew how to pluck those strings

Lead Guitar - So Laid back;)

I learned this all within 5 minutes. After a few songs, Kirk brings on the stage his brother Kevin and I tell ya the chemistry between them with their banter and musicianship is not anything that is faked. Kevin's voice is an instrument that can go up against Kirk's saxophone any ole day;) His voice had me shivering in a good way. Some notes he would hit would make me sit up in my seat and cross my legs, the man was that damn good. 

Kevin and Kirk Whalum

Kirk then starts talking about love. How there is a horizontal love that is imperfect and a vertical love that is perfect. The horizontal love is what you have with someone here on earth. You go through life either with your mate/boyfriend/girlfriend (unless you are still looking) and you deal with the ups and downs like a puzzle still trying to find the pieces. Then he talks about how with the vertical relationship, it doesn't matter if you are imperfect because God is already perfect.

Kirk Whalum

I didn't think it could get better than that. I was gratefully mistaken. Mr. Peanuts joins them on stage and after he is settled in, he starts to croon a song that I remember from R&B artist Brandy, "Almost doesn't count". I tell ya I had tears in my eyes by the time  he had the first verse out. I can tell where Kevin gets his skills from. I was drenched by the last note. Then he broke into "You are so beautiful" by Joe Crocker. Again I was in tears and I just closed my eyes while his voice went over me.  At this time Kirk brings out his wife and they dance for a bit on the stage and then he takes a seat with his wife in audience as his uncle is singing the rest of the song.

Afterwards Kevin outfits Mr. Peanuts with a saxophone and shortly thereafter he is jamming with the band and I tell ya he has NOT missed a step at all. Where he would slow down, Kirk would pick up. They complimented each other so well. A blanket without stitches, this is how smooth they were together. Unfortunately all wonderful things must come to an end and the concert did come to a close. The crowd was on its feet in thunderous applause. I tell ya this actually ranks higher than the Chris Botti concert and THAT concert was off the chain.

My mom and I make our way back to the atrium where the VIP reception was held earlier. Kirk and Kevin were signing CD's so we decided to buy "Romance Language". I waited in line and wait to meet them.

CD Signing

CD Signing

I told them I had a wonderful time and look forward to seeing them perform again in the future. They signed my CD and after looking at it for a while I was giddy like a little kid who just found a treasure. In all honestly I actually did. I found a new artist I never had heard of.

My signed CD!

So as you can imagine as soon a I got home I went on Spotify and checked to see what other albums Kirk had out and I was pleased to find about 17 more albums! WHEW! I'm going to be busy;) Also Kevin Whalum and Mr. Peanuts Whalum also have out solo albums as well. I plan on adding those to my collection as well.

If music is the food for the soul, 
then I consider myself quite nourished and full 
after such an amazing buffet;)


Until the next episode....

 All That MsJazz

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