Kirk Whalum to join Visible Music College

by LP Green, II

Kirk Whalum is going back to school. The Grammy-winning saxophonist and former Soulsville Foundation head is joining the faculty of Memphis’ Visible Music College, as an adjunct professor.

Visible made the announcement on Tuesday morning, noting that Whalum would focus his work on the faith-based music school’s newly launched woodwinds and brass concentration.

“We’re excited to welcome the consummate professional in pop and jazz saxophone to our faculty,” said Visible Music College president Ken Steorts. “Kirk’s expertise brought to the classroom is the next level for the development of our students … As a music and life mentor, he will elevate the trajectory of our student musicians.”

The 57 year-old Whalum has enjoyed an illustrious career as a sideman, recording and touring with Whitney Houston, Babyface, Bebe and Cece Winans, Barbra Streisand, and Al Green, among others. As a solo artist Whalum has released more than two dozen albums, including 2015’s CD/DVD set, “The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV.” He will continue to record and perform while working at Visible.

Whalum said he was excited for the opportunity to return to music education. “I love teaching, I love it. It’s such a part of who I am,” he said. “I love standing in front of kids sharing with them what it means to have solid technique as a musician, to study theory and learn how to apply that to whatever it is you want to do.”

Visible Music College was founded in Memphis in 2000 by Steorts, a founding member of the Christian rock band Skillet. The school’s stated goal is to train “the next generation of artists in music, discipleship, worship and ministry,” according to its website. The school now has affiliates in Chicago, Dallas and Germany.

“It’s blossoming,” said Whalum of the college. “This is really about them branching out and preparing young music students to be Christ followers and to go out into the mainstream music world and be on a par with those who are studying at Berklee and the other top music schools.” ___

by Bob Mehr from Commercial Appeal

(c)2015 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)

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