Kamasi Washington

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Kamasi Washington
Washington in 2017
Washington in 2017
Background information
Born (1981-02-18) February 18, 1981 (age 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician
Instrument(s)Tenor saxophone
Years active2000–present
Labels
Member ofWest Coast Get Down
Websitekamasiwashington.com

Kamasi Washington (born February 18, 1981) is an American jazz saxophonist.[1] He is a founding member of the jazz collective West Coast Get Down.[2]

Career[edit]

Washington was born in 1981 and raised in Los Angeles, California.[2][3] He is a graduate of the Academy of Music of Alexander Hamilton High School in Beverlywood, Los Angeles.[1] Washington next enrolled in UCLA's Department of Ethnomusicology, where he began playing with faculty members such as Kenny Burrell, Gerald Wilson, and Billy Higgins, who mentored a quartet with Washington, pianist Cameron Graves, and the brothers Stephen ("Thundercat") and Ronald Bruner. They released their debut album Young Jazz Giants in 2004 on Birdman Records.[4][5]

Washington joined the Gerald Wilson Orchestra for its 2005 album In My Time.[6] In 2008 and 2009 "The Kamasi Washington Band" played the outdoor Labor Day Jazz Concert on the Main Green at Village Green, Los Angeles.[7][8] Washington played saxophone on Kendrick Lamar's album To Pimp a Butterfly,[9] released on March 25, 2015. Washington's debut solo recording, The Epic, was released in May 2015.[10] Washington contributed saxophone on the Thundercat song "Them Changes", which was released on June 18, 2015, as a single from the EP The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam;[11][12] the track was later included on Thundercat's full-length album Drunk (2017).

Washington released the mini-album/EP Harmony of Difference in September 2017. This was followed by his second full-length studio album, Heaven and Earth, which was released in June 2018, with a companion EP titled The Choice released a week later.

Washington at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2016

Washington has played along with a diverse group of musicians including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Horace Tapscott, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg,[13] George Duke, Chaka Khan, Flying Lotus, Mike Muir, Francisco Aguabella, St. Vincent, the Pan Afrikaan People's Orchestra, Run the Jewels and Raphael Saadiq.

On June 25, 2020, Washington, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, and 9th Wonder announced the formation of the supergroup Dinner Party. They released a single, "Freeze Tag", and their debut extended play, Dinner Party, was released on July 10, 2020.[14]

On June 18, 2021, Washington released a new song "Sun Kissed Child" as part of The Undefeated's Music for the Movement series.[15] Also in 2021, Washington and his band contributed a cover of the Metallica song "My Friend of Misery" to the charity tribute album The Metallica Blacklist.[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Ceremony Category Nominated work Result Ref.
1999 John Coltrane Music Competition Won [17]
2015 Worldwide Winners Album of the Year The Epic Won [18]
2016 American Music Prize Won [19]
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Jazz Album Nominated [20]
Libera Awards Album of the Year Nominated [21][22]
Best Breakthrough Artist Nominated
Groundbreaking Album of the Year Won
Heritage Album of the Year Won
2018 UK Music Video Awards Best Urban Video – International "Street Fighter Mas" Nominated [23]
Libera Awards Best Jazz Album Harmony of Difference Won [24]
2019 Worldwide Winners Jazz Album of the Year Heaven and Earth Won [25]
Libera Awards Album of the Year Won [26]
Best Jazz Album Won
Creative Packaging Won
Video of the Year "Heaven & Earth" Nominated
Brit Awards International Male Solo Artist Himself Nominated [27]
UK Music Video Awards Best Alternative Video – International "Hub-tones" Nominated [28]
Best Special Video Project "As Told to g/d Thyself" Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary
Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
Becoming Nominated [29]
Libera Awards Best Sync Usage Music in Apple Shot on iPhone XS commercial Nominated [30]
2021 Grammy Awards Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Becoming Nominated [31]
2023 Libera Awards Best Jazz Record "The Garden Path" Won [32]

Discography[edit]

As leader/co-leader[edit]

Studio albums

EPs

With Throttle Elevator Music

  • Throttle Elevator Music (Wide Hive, 2012)
  • Area J (Wide Hive, 2014)
  • Jagged Rocks (Wide Hive, 2015)
  • Throttle Elevator Music IV (Wide Hive, 2016)
  • Retrorespective (Wide Hive, 2017)
  • Emergency Exit (Wide Hive, 2020)
  • Final Floor (Wide Hive, 2021)

As sideman[edit]

With the Gerald Wilson Orchestra

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Serrano, Shea (July 5, 2012). "Music Picks: Hootenanny, The Moonbeams, Kamasi Washington". Laweekly.com. Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Archived July 9, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Shatz, Adam (January 21, 2016). "Kamasi Washington's Giant Step". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  3. ^ Welch, Will (January 4, 2016). "Why You Should Listen to Kamasi Washington, the High Priest of Sax". GQ. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  4. ^ Young Jazz Giants at AllMusic. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  5. ^ Kellman, Andy. "Kamasi Washington | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  6. ^ Blanco, Edward. "Gerald Wilson Orchestra: In My Time." Allaboutjazz.com, January 4, 2006.
  7. ^ https://www.villagegreenla.net/uploads/5/7/6/0/57603411/newsletter_aug08.pdf
  8. ^ http://www.villagegreenla.net/uploads/5/7/6/0/57603411/archive_summer09.pdf
  9. ^ Weiner, Natalie (March 26, 2015). "How Kendrick Lamar Transformed Into 'The John Coltrane of Hip-Hop' on 'To Pimp a Butterfly'". Billboard. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Colter Walls, Seth (May 8, 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  11. ^ Geslani, Michelle (June 18, 2015). "Thundercat to release surprise album featuring Flying Lotus and Herbie Hancock". Consequence. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  12. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. (July 9, 2015). "Thundercat: "Them Changes" Track Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 26, 2023.
  13. ^ "Listen to Kamasi Washington Talk Kendrick, Coltrane, More With Marc Maron on "WTF"". Pitchfork.com. September 22, 2016. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "Hear The New Supergroup From Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, And 9th Wonder". Stereogum. June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Hussey, Allison (June 18, 2021). "Listen to Kamasi Washington's New Song "Sun Kissed Child"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  16. ^ He, Richard S. (September 10, 2021). "Every Metallica Blacklist cover ranked from worst to best". loudersound. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Five Fun Facts: Kamasi Washington". Live Nation. February 27, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  18. ^ Bonnell, Emily (March 3, 2020). "Kamasi Washington draws inspiration from former jazz icons". Jazz.fm. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  19. ^ Weiner, Natalie (March 7, 2016). "Kamasi Washington on Winning First-Ever American Music Prize & How Jazz Doesn't Have to Be 'Daunting'". Billboard. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "'Straight Outta Compton,' 'Empire,' Michael B. Jordan Top NAACP Image Awards". Variety. February 5, 2016. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  21. ^ "SoundExchange Presents The 2016 A2IM Libera Awards". Shorefire. April 11, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  22. ^ White, Caitlin (June 17, 2016). "Alabama Shakes And Kamasi Washington Win Big At The Independent Music Awards". Brooklyn Magazine. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  23. ^ "UK Music Video Awards 2018: all the nominations!". Promo News. September 27, 2018. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  24. ^ Aswad, Jem (June 22, 2018). "Aimee Mann, Funky Four +1 Perform, Slowdive Wins Big at Indie Libera Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  25. ^ "Worldwide Awards 2019". Gilles Peterson Worldwide. February 1, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  26. ^ Houghton, Bruce (June 24, 2019). "A2IM Libera Indie Music Awards 2019 – Full Winners List". Hypebot. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  27. ^ "Full list of Brit awards 2019 winners". The Guardian. February 20, 2019. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  28. ^ Garner, George (September 26, 2019). "UK Music Video Awards 2019 nominations revealed". Music Week. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  29. ^ Strauss, Matthew (July 28, 2020). "Trent Reznor, Kamasi Washington, RZA, More Nominated for 2020 Emmys". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  30. ^ Brandle, Lars (April 2, 2020). "Chance the Rapper, FKA Twigs, Courtney Barnett & More Shortlisted For 2020 A2IM Libera Awards". Billboard. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  31. ^ William, Chris (November 24, 2020). "Grammy Awards Nominations 2021: The Complete List". Variety. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  32. ^ Garcia, Thania; Okusanya, Emanuel (June 16, 2023). "Wet Leg, Sudan Archives and More Win Big at 2023 A2IM Libera Awards". Variety. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  33. ^ "Kamasi Washington – The Epic". Bandcamp. Retrieved April 1, 2021.
  34. ^ Thom Jurek. "The Epic – Kamasi Washington | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  35. ^ Wicks, Amanda (April 9, 2018). "Kamasi Washington Announces New Album Heaven and Earth". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
  36. ^ "Kamasi Washington announces Harmony of Difference EP release on 12". Thevinylfactory.com. July 31, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.

External links[edit]