Kamasi Washington may not be a household name, but he’s one of the most prolific collaborators in contemporary jazz and hip hop music.
The 35 year old Los Angeles based saxophonist has been a collaborator and studio musician for an array of different artists, most notably on Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album “To Pimp a Butterfly”. But with the introduction of his solo project, his career has taken on a much larger following.
His three part full length debut entitled “The Epic” was released last year on Flying Lotus’ experimental Brainfeeder imprint and was praised by music critics as one of best of that year. It’s a three hour- three disc- journey across jazz that sometimes challenges the listener with shrill saxophone notes, while creating balance with sections of haunting backing vocals. If you imagine John Coltrane experimenting with psychedelic funk or hip hop you’d be on the right track. Kamasi Washington spoke with HPR’s Nick Yee about his music.
Kamasi Washington continues his series this evening and tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Blue Note Hawai‘i.