Kirk Whalum is an American smooth jazz saxophonist and songwriter. He toured as Whitney Houston's opening act for several years. Whalum has also recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. Kirk’s musical accomplishments have brought him a total of 12 Grammy nominations. Kirk won his first Grammy award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”-featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted writer, Jerry Peters.
Best known for his saxophone solo on Whitney Houston's hit "I Will Always Love You," contemporary jazz musician Kirk Whalum has also recorded a series of well received solo albums and film soundtracks, with music ranging from pop to R&B to smooth jazz. His best-selling 1998 contemporary jazz album, For You, included instrumental versions of the pop hits "My All" and "That's the Way Love Goes," as well as the Motown classic "I Want You." The son of a minister, Whalum also turned to spiritual themes for the 1998 release The Gospel According to Jazz and the 2001 releases Hymns in the Garden and The Christmas Message. "With each project, I make sure that I am honest to who I am as [much as] possible, and I always tell the truth, presenting a unique snapshot of where my life and faith are at that time," Whalum remarked to Smooth Jazz News online in May of 2001 interview. "My basic process of writing is going down in my basement and praying, thanking God for everything and then asking Him for melodies that would help glorify Him. That's why few of my recordings revolve around concepts. I just like to let things flow naturally."