Kirk Whalum Channels Ethos of Civil Rights and Global Harmony on New Album, Humanité,

Features Collaborations With World Renowned Artists Afgan, Andréa Lisa, Keiko Matsui, Zahara and others

Los Angeles, Calif. – Grammy® Award Winner and Global Recording Artist Kirk Whalum released his new album, Humanité, Friday, Oct. 11, on Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group. Humanité is unlike any album Kirk has ever made – the sonic synergistic result of encounters made and relationships formed onstage and off, with top emerging musical talents and Top 5 recording artists from around the world.
The album was produced by Kirk and his longtime friend and producer, the British jazz trumpeter and session musician, James McMillan. Over a period of three months in 2018, Kirkand James recorded the soul-drenched, emotional and highly melodic tracks in locations ranging from studios in Jakarta, Tokyo, Paris, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Hastings, to hotel rooms, office buildings and even Kirk’s living room in his hometown, Memphis, Tenn.
Collaborators on the album include Japan’s jazz pianist Keiko Matsui; the young bass phenomenon Barry Likumahuwa, gifted singer/songwriter Grace Sahertian and global pop star singer/actor Afgan, all hailing from Indonesia; soulful singer/jazz guitarist Andréa Lisa from New Zealand; superstar vocalist/guitarist Zahara from South Africa; virtuosic jazz bassist Marcus Miller from Brooklyn, NY; top percussionist Kasiva Mutwa of Nairobi; and Liane Carroll, long considered by cognoscenti to be the UK’s premier female jazz voice.
“I kept bumping into these amazing artists from all over the world and I wanted to make some crazy music with them and prove this point – that we are all one,” said Kirk. “That’s the DNA of it. Like we say in the artwork, ‘With one voice, sometimes with words, we speak.’ This is the essential reality of being a world musician.”
Standout tracks that showcase the album’s harmonious mix of American jazz, blues, funk and pop, along with global indigenous musical forms, abound on Humanité and include the high velocity fusion track, “Korogocho,” featuring jazz master bass player Marcus Miller in a death-defying duel with young Indonesian bass sharp-shooter Barry Likumahuwa; a silky ballad about the power of education and enlightenment, “Wake Up Everybody,” featuring Indonesian superstar, Afgan; and the uplifting, gorgeous contemporary jazz/R&B track and debut single, “Get Your Wings Up,” featuring guitarist/vocalist Andréa Lisa.
Kirk was just nine years old when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis just blocks away from the Whalum family home. That shattering event shaped young Kirk’s worldview. But rather than turn him cynical, as he grew older his spiritual upbringing led him to embrace Dr. King’s vision of “The Beloved Community.” This message is the ethos of Humanité – the greater good inherent in all of global humanity will lead to a society based on justice, civil rights and love of one’s fellow humans, and an insatiable curiosity about the exquisitely unique musical offerings from each and every corner of our global common-unity.
“Music is the language that communicates across borders. Music can break and enter into a person’s soul,” said Kirk. “The difference is that she is not there to take, she’s there to give, to leave something when she goes.”

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