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Congratulating Kirk Whalum For Receiving The 2011 Grammy Award For Best Gospel Song

Rep. Steve Cohen

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum for receiving the 2011 Grammy Award from The Recording Academy for Best Gospel Song. The award winning song, ``It's What I Do,'' is from his album, The Gospel According to Jazz Chapter III. Kirk Whalum, a Memphian, is the son of the late Reverend Kenneth Whalum, Sr., and Dr. Rosie Whalum. The Whalum family is known for their musical, spiritual and community involvement in the Memphis area. In addition to receiving the Grammy Award, Mr. Whalum was named the President and Chief Financial Officer of the Memphis-based Soulsville Foundation in April of 2010.

Mr. Whalum has been part of the music community for many years, and it is great to see him be recognized for his tremendous talents. Over the years, he has received multiple Grammy nominations and has won many other awards. He has received two Dove Award nominations, a NAACP Image Awards nomination and has won two Stellar Awards. In addition to his awards, Mr. Whalum has worked with impressive musical artists including Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones and Whitney Houston.

Kirk Whalum and the Whalum family are no strangers when it comes to community service and musical talent. His father was a prominent minister at Memphis's Olivet Baptist Church and also served two terms on the Memphis City Council. Kirk Whalum's brother, Reverend Kenneth Whalum, Jr., took over their father's post at the Memphis church and is also the father of recognized saxophonist, Kenneth T. Whalum III. Kevin Whalum, the third Whalum brother, is known for his talents as a jazz vocalist. Kirk Whalum's uncle, Hugh ``Peanuts'' Whalum, is a recognized singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist.

Kirk Whalum is a true ambassador of the city of Memphis. He is doing great things with his new post at the Soulsville Foundation, which oversees the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School. Through the Soulsville Foundation, he is able to further enrich the musical talents of the youth in Memphis and serve as a mentor to budding musicians. His dedication to music and musical talent has led him to receive not only many awards but has earned him much deserved accolades from the music community. Mister Speaker, I ask the House to join me in congratulating Kirk Whalum for receiving the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Gospel Song.