Auntie Karen Foundation

Auntie Karen Foundation presents the 19th Legends of… 2023 Concert & Auction

4 mins read

A Tribute to Al Jarreau featuring Kirk Whalum, Regina Belle, Chris Walker & Bob James

Opening Act: The Auntie Karen All-Star Band

The Auntie Karen Foundation presents Legends of…2023 A Tribute To Al Jarreau featuring Kirk Whalum, Regina Belle, Chris Walker & Bob James

A limited number of AARP, military, and student (Grand Tier & Balcony) tickets are available for $ 5.00 off with ID at the box office. Proceeds from this event benefit the Auntie Karen Foundation.  For Sponsorship Opportunities, Premium Orchestra Seating Tickets call 803-748-7124 or visit

The Auntie Karen Foundation is a global non-profit 501(c)3 corporation based in Columbia, SC. Founded in 2001, the foundation’s mission is to create and implement a series of replicable community outreach programs designed to empower, enlighten and educate through the arts.

Tickets $ 55.00 – $ 100.00 at The Koger Center Box Office
Discounts for Groups of 10+, AARP, Military in Grand Tier & Balcony only

About the show: Relive the magic of jazz music great, Al Jarreau (March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017) when 4 musical legends take the stage to pay tribute to his life and work.  The Auntie Karen Foundation showcased Al Jarreau in 2006 and 2016 at the Koger Center. Kirk Whalum, Regina Belle, Chris Walker, and Bob James will join forces to perform Al Jarreau’s music as well as some of the tunes they are noted for individually.

Kirk Whalum (saxophonist)
Soulful, passionate, stirring…these are the words most often used to describe Kirk’s music. Forged from his Memphis, (TN) gospel roots and his 1980‘s initiation into the thriving Houston, TX nightclub scene, Kirk’s big, rich tenor sound is unmistakably his. The ’80s were highlighted by Kirk’s stepping out of his blossoming sideman role and forming his own band. It was there that Kirk ultimately developed both his “voice” and songwriting in the crucible of the local club scene––especially at a rooftop club called Cody’s. It was also in Houston where jazz pianist Bob James “discovered” him and brought him on tour, which led to five successful albums with Columbia Records, including Cache, Kirk’s first #1 album. Kirk and Bob also received a Grammy nomination for their collaboration album, ‘Joined at the Hip’. After moving to Los Angeles, Kirk became an in-demand session player for top artists like Barbara Streisand, Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, Larry Carlton, Quincy Jones, and most notably, Whitney Houston, amongst many others. It’s his sax heard on the mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” 

Kirk soon followed that career high point with his phenomenal hit album released on Warner Bros. Records, For You, perhaps the most successful of over 25 solo recordings to date; others include his eclectic and much-lauded Gospel According to Jazz series (Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4). In addition to his many solo projects, Kirk was also a member of the popular soul/jazz group, BWB, which features Kirk as the “W” of the group with Rick Braun (trumpet) and Norman Brown (guitar)..Kirk is the recipient of numerous awards and acknowledgments for his musical excellence, including three Dove Award nominations, an NAACP Image Award nomination, and has won two Stellar Awards-Gospel music’s highest honor. A twelve-time Grammy nominee, Kirk won his first Grammy award (2011) for Best Gospel Song (“It’s What I Do”––featuring Lalah Hathaway) alongside life-long friend and gifted songwriter Jerry Peters. 

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