Kirk Whalum Leads Local Grammy Noms

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Kirk Whalum
  • Kirk Whalum
Jazz saxophonist, Memphis native, and Stax Music Academy and Museum CEO Kirk Whalum leads a bevy of Memphis-connected Grammy nominations, with four nominations from two different albums.

Whalum's Everything Is Everything: The Music of Donny Hathaway was honored with a nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album, and singer Musiq Soulchild was nominated for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "We're Still Friends," a collaboration with Whalum from the album.

Whalum also double-dipped in the gospel section, with "He's Been Just That Good," a collaboration with singer Lalah Hathaway, cited in the Best Gospel Performance category and "It's What I Do," co-written with Jerry Peters showing up among the Best Gospel Songs nominations. Both are from Whalum's The Gospel According To Jazz Chapter III album.

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Memphis is also strongly represented in folk and blues categories. Onward and Upward, a tribute to the late Jim Dickinson from son Luther Dickinson and a host of family and friends under the moniker Sons of Mudboy, was nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album. Onward and Upward was released on the local Memphis International label.

In blues categories, two Memphis-connected discs are competing in the Best Traditional Blues Album category. There's Cyndi Lauper's Memphis Blues, recorded locally under the direction of Memphis producer Scott Bomar, and there's Memphis native Charlie Musselwhite's The Well. In the Best Contemporary Blues Album category, the nominees include Soloman Burke's Nothing's Impossible, which marks the late Willie Mitchell's final producer credit.

Finally, local author Robert Gordon scored a nomination in the Best Album Notes category for his work on Keep An Eye On The Sky, the boxed set devoted to subterranean Memphis legends Big Star.

The Grammys will be broadcast on Sunday, February 13th at 7 p.m., on CBS.

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