At the age of 13, Kamasi Washington started a lifelong quest discovering the many wonders of music. One night, his father left his soprano saxophone lying on the piano. Kamasi, filled with curiosity for all the beauty he heard from the instrument, picked up his father’s horn. Even though he didn’t know anything about the saxophone – in fact, never even touched one – he played Wayne Shorter’s composition “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On,” his favorite song at the time.
Over the years, Kamasi has performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. Kamasi’s own band “The Next Step” is a modern spin on a big band, which includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Kamasi is part of a west coast musical collective called the “West Coast Get Down.”
Most recently, Kamasi worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album “To Pimp A Butterfly.” On May 5th, Kamasi released his groundbreaking solo album “The Epic” on the trend-setting record label Brainfeeder. “The Epic” is a 172-minute, triple-disc masterpiece, featuring Kamasi’s ten-piece band “The Next Step” along with a full string orchestra and full choir. “The Epic” debuted #1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK.