The Levitt AMP Chattanooga Music Series continues to animate the Historic MLK District with its fourth installment of music, art & culture featuring main headliner, R&B / Jazz Artist, Kevin Whalum on Thursday.
The free concert series is held Thursday nights on the lawn of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center from Aug. 23-Oct. 25 from 6-8:30 p.m.
Review for Kevin Whalum:
The younger brother of noted jazz saxman Kirk Whalum, vocalist Kevin Whalum grew up in Memphis in the shadow of Olivet Baptist Church, where his father, the Rev. Kenneth T. Whalum, served as pastor. The church, known as a magnet for great singers and musicians, became a centerpiece of Kevin's life as a youngster, creating both a religious and a musical foundation. After graduating with a degree in English from Morehouse, Whalum moved to Chicago to pursue a career in music. Less than six months after his arrival, he had formed a jazz-funk-soul group called Kevin Whalum & Fast Forward.
He later moved to Nashville and appeared as a guest vocalist on brother Kirk's noted 1997 release, The Gospel According To Jazz, Chapter 1, and as part of Kirk's band at that year's Stellar Awards. Kevin now has three solo albums under his belt: the self-produced solo debut, Timetable (2002); the George Duke-produced, One Life To Love (2008); and his self-produced, I Live For You (2016).
Although Kevin eschews any effort to force him into a category or genre’, he freely admits to defining himself as “primarily a jazz vocalist who just happens to be a Christian.”
Review for Wendy Moten:
Opening act for Mr. Whalum is national recording artist, Wendy Moten. Memphis native Wendy Moten has been part of the Nashville music community for over 20 years. Signed to EMI Records in the early ’90s, she built a career singing backing vocals for a wide range of artists.
Moten spent 15 years on tour as Julio Iglesias’s duet partner before joining Faith Hill in 2005 for her Fireflies television special. That relationship continues today, as Moten prepares for the second leg of the Soul2Soul tour with Hill and Tim McGraw. Moten has also sung with Vince Gill, Billy Idol, Wynonna, Martina McBride, and John Oates.
This is the second year in a row that Chattanooga has been selected as one of 15 small to mid-sized towns and cities across the nation to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25,000 in matching funds to present a free concert series by The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national funder of creative placemaking that empowers communities to inject new life into underused public spaces through free, outdoor concerts.
Presented by Jazzanooga, in partnership with the Urban League Chattanooga, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga Fun and City of Chattanooga – Government, this year’s series will feature a diverse lineup of high caliber talent spanning genres like Blues, New Orleans Bounce, Jazz and Afro-Latin. There will also be over 20 local vendors providing food, beverages and community informational resources.
The series is funded by the Levitt Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation and Benwood Foundation along with our 2018 Community Corporate Sponsor, Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.