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Jazz Player Kirk Whalum Connects with Young Fans


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Just as the late Oklahoma jazz guitarist Charlie Christian made a lasting impression on today's artists with his compositions, jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum is connecting with the next generation as an artist-in-residence, and with fans through technology.

It is a beautiful, sunny day in Memphis, and Whalum, 50, has been in the studio, compiling tracks for his live recording, “Gospel According to Jazz Chapter III," to be released later this year. He will be the keynote act with Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols on Aug. 1 at the Rose State Performing Arts Theater. The concert is part of the 23rd annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival.

“It's great to return to Oklahoma," Whalum said in a recent interview. “It shows that we are doing something important, and the fact that people are recognizing who Charlie Christian is in regards to jazz music is notable indeed. He has made some incredible contributions, but one has to be like a bus to keep the memories going. It's exciting that we are still on this path."

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