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*It is rare that one is ever afforded the luxury of speaking frankly to a master of his or her craft without consequence born of inflated egos and pride.  That goes especially so for a journalist. Sure, we often score exclusive interviews but the direction of said conversations are comparable to a well-worn propaganda path that is usually laid out by said individual’s representatives, or the terms are dictated by the artisans themselves.

Recently I had the chance to speak with legendary jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum about consumerism and popular music, the direction of jazz music and how he injects his Christian faith and African spirituality into his music. Yes, to say it was an interesting conversation would be a significant understatement. It was easily one of my favorite interviews in quite some time.

“The African diaspora means so much for me,” said Whalum.  “First of all, as a Christian who puts that out there and says ‘I love Jesus’, I am very beholden to African spirituality.  The particular perspective that we come at faith, whether it’s the Muslim faith or anything else, being African is an amazing thing, spiritually.”

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