A jazz legend in the making, Kamasi Washington, will perform on Thursday, August 1 at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, NJ, bringing his West Coast jazz sound and multi-instrument skills to an eager audience. Born in Los Angeles, Washington’s 2015 debut album The Epic received critical praise and was awarded the inaugural American Music Prize. Subsequent albums Heaven and Earth and Harmony of Difference received similar acclaim, with the latter debuting at the 2017 Whitney Museum of Art Biennial.
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 littered with 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. Washington followed that work with collaborations with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run the Jewels, Ibeyi, among others. 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. He is currently on tour with Herbie Hancock in August.
Since the 2018 release of Heaven and Earth and its counterpart The Choice, Washington has toured the world over with sold-out shows in North America and Europe, including New York’s Apollo Theater and London’s Brixton Academy. Washington recently debuted his short film As Told To G/D Thyself which originally premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Watch an interview with Washington discussing the movie below.
Joining Washington at White Eagle Hall is Taylor McFerrin, who recently released Love’s Last Chance, his first full-length album since his 2014 debut Early Riser. The collection, which featured Nai Palm, Thundercat, and Taylor’s legendary father Bobby McFerrin, earned praise from Pitchfork who hailed it as “an album built for slow weekend mornings spent in bed with a loved one.” Love’s Last Chance is McFerrin’s first album with his own voice on it. “Over the years, I’d learned how to convey myself well through my instrumentals,” says McFerrin. “But singing brings me closer than ever to being able to share everything that’s going on inside of me.”