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On Labor Day weekend, jazz will be smoking at the 31st Annual Detroit Jazz Festival. One flamekeeper, honoring the history and tradition of his music, will be on the scene and carrying the torch for modern jazz. Jazz saxophonist and Vandoren artist, Kirk Whalum, is performing live, Saturday, September 4, 2010.

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to take in some memorable melodies from one of modern jazz’s finest musicians. Tune in to The Woodwind & Brasswind‘s Live Webcasts page, powered by Band Director.com.

Whalum is slated to appear on the main stage from 9 – 10:30 p.m., EST. To see the complete line up at the Detroit Jazz Festival, click here.

Whalum, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, first gained wide-spread attention in the mid-‘80s through a partnership with Bob James that produced three well-received albums, including his break-through outing, And You Know That! (1988). He went on to record jazz hits that earned their rank at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart, Grammy nominations, and a Stellar Award. To see a full collection of Kirk Whalum’s music, click here. Or to hear a music sample, tune in to his 2010 Bible in Your Ear podcast.

Whalum’s performance at this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival is a tribute to one of his principal musical influences - Donny Hathaway, an influential R&B artist whose career ended with his death in 1979. The eldest daughter of the legendary Mr. Hathaway, Lalah Hathaway, will be making a special guest appearance as the key vocalist during Whalum’s set. Whalum and Lalah will be backed John Stoddart (keyboards and vocals), Braylon Lacy (bass), Kevin Turner (guitar) and Marcus Finnie (drums).

Whalum brings his own voice to the stage while celebrating Hathaway’s life and musical stylings. Watch an interview on how Hathaway touched Whalum’s life and inspired him, in his own words.

If you are a Whalum fan and a musician, check out his Vandoren signature mouthpieces and products at The Woodwind & Brasswind.

You can continue to follow Kirk Whalum and his music on Facebook.

For more live music performance gems, please check back to The Woodwind & Brasswind‘s Live Webcasts page.  Upcoming live webcasts are updated frequently.