American jazz saxophonist, usually playing tenor, Kamasi Washington is a saxophone virtuoso and widely celebrated bandleader.
Washington introduced hip-hop audiences to the lineage of spiritual jazz and hard bop with 2015’s The Epic and 2018’s Heaven and Earth, heralded as some of the best music released in the 2010s.
Hosted by KCRW DJ Anne Litt, Kamasi Washington and his outfit will perform, supported by Earl Sweatshirt on Sunday JULY 18, 2021 starting at 7:00PM.
From the youtube page:
Saxophonist and composer Kamasi Washington worked on releasing his now three-CD, nearly three-hour, choir-and-strings-assisted album The Epic for the better part of a decade.
Most of the members of his 10-piece working band—known collectively as The Next Step or The West Coast Get Down—have known each other since at least high school, decades ago in South Central Los Angeles.
Even as their diverse careers have made it difficult to focus exclusively on this band—Washington is, for instance, the saxophonist heard on recent Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar albums—they’ve all continually committed to experimenting with a brand of jazz that resonates with their own generation’s lived experience.
From his website:
When Kamasi Washington released his tour de force LP, The Epic, in 2015, it instantly set him on a path as our generation’s torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music that would open the door for young audiences to experience music unlike anything they had heard before.
The 172-minute odyssey featuring his 10-piece band, the next step, was full of elements of hip-hop, classical and r&b music—all major influences on the young saxophonist and bandleader, who exceeds any notions of what “jazz” music is. Released to critical acclaim, the epic won numerous “best of” awards, including the inaugural American music prize and the Gilles Peterson worldwide album of the year. Washington followed that work with collaborations with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run The Jewels, Ibeyi and the creation of “Harmony of Difference,” a standalone multimedia installation during the prestigious 2017 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
Washington’s mass appeal continues to grow drawing vibrant, multi-ethnic and multi-generational crowds with tour stops at the world’s most prominent festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, Bonnaroo and Primavera.