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Kamasi Washington


June 23, 2024

Kamasi Washington is an award-winning American jazz saxophonist who has crossed genre boundaries for years. Growing up in LA, he graduated from his high school’s Academy of Music and began multidisciplinary studies in Ethnomusicology at UCLA. There he was under the tutelage of greats like Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins and Gerald Wilson, even joining Wilson’s Jazz Orchestra for its 2005 recording, In My Time.

In 2006, he became a founding member of the West Coast Get Down collective (with trombonist Ryan Porter, pianists Brandon Coleman and Cameron Graves, Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner and Miles Mosley, drummers Tony Austin and, and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin).

In 2015, he and other members of the collective appeared on Kendrick Lamar’s landmark album, To Pimp a Butterfly, a wildly popular record with fans and critics. That same year, Washington released his The Epic to universal acclaim, making the best-of lists of several publications. The pattern continued with his 2018 album, Heaven and Earth.

He’s continued to work with top hip-hop, R&B, and jazz artists throughout his career, and his latest record, Fearless Movements, is no exception. Featuring musicians from his West Coast Get Down Collective, the record also boasts guest like funk icon George Clinton, Ras and Taj Austin from Coast Contra, DJ Battlecat, and Andre 3000, among others. It’s great to see how Washington continues to bring these disparate artists together to create magic.

"Get Lit" (feat. George Clinton, D Smoke)

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