Kamasi Washington Debuts Short Film Featuring Thundercat and Miles Mosley

Kamasi Washington Debuts Short Film by B+ Documenting Journey to Historic Release Performance for The Epic
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Kamasi Washington Debuts Short Film by B+ Documenting Journey to Historic Release Performance for The Epic

Kamasi Washington: The Rhythm Changes

A virtuosic performance from the jazz musician and Kendrick Lamar’s cosmic collaborator


Captured by veteran Los Angeles hip-hop photographer and filmmaker B+ (aka Brian Cross), known for his seminal portraits of, and record covers for, luminaries such as Eazy-E, DJ Shadow, Biggie, and The Fugees, Kamasi Washington is one of his generation’s foremost jazz giants. A player, composer and bandleader, the 32-year-old’s aptly named three-volume album The Epic follows his acclaimed arrangements for Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Flying Lotus’s You're Dead! In a director’s statement, B+ discusses the time he spent with Washington and his band, and the show he filmed celebrating The Epic’s release at the famed Regent Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

“It is a profound need we’ve all had to celebrate the exquisite loving that black American music is”
“I first saw Kamasi Washington play with many of these same musicians in Leimert Park in the early two thousands. I remember thinking Kamasi was a young Cannonball Adderley – open, charismatic and in full flight already on his instrument. I had the distinct feeling that the future of jazz was safe.

"On May 4th this year at The Regent Theatre in downtown, Kamasi put 1,200 L.A. heads of all generations, races and beliefs in the same room on a Monday night paying $40 a head to see four hours of jazz. Yes, four hours. Yes, a Monday night. After the second set, (there were three) I told the poet Kamau Daaood: 'My chest feels so full, man, my heart is beating bigger...' Ethnomusicologist Josh Kuhn asked me, 'What is this man? This just can’t be the [effect of the] Kendrick thing...'

“I’ve spent the past few months trying to answer this question. Somehow it is Kendrick, it is Los Angeles, it is Kamasi and his ability to bring people together – the fact that these musicians built their own audience in LA over the past ten years; but it is also a profound need I think we’ve all had to celebrate the exquisite loving that black American music is. In a moment populated by dead black men’s bodies (from Oscar Grant to Trayvon Martin, to Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and on and on every 28 hours), we needed to not look away, we needed to remember, we needed somehow to celebrate. This show and this music is that.” — B+ (Brian Cross) 

Kamasi Washington U.S. Performances:

** August 19 / Bearsville Theatre / Woodstock, NY
August 20 / The Sinclair / Boston, MA
** August 21 / StageOne / Fairfield, CT
August 22 / Blue / Portland, ME
** August 23 / Iron Horse / Northampton, MA
August 24 -­ 25 / Blue Note Jazz Club / New York, NY
August 26 / Howard Theatre / Washington, DC
August 27 / World Café Live / Philadelphia, PA
August 29 / Soundstage / Baltimore, MD
** September 9 / Bottom Lounge / Chicago, IL
** September 10 / Icehouse / Minneapolis, MN
** September 11 / Slowdown / Omaha, NE
** September 13 / Soda Bar / San Diego, CA
** September 16 / The Smith Center / Las Vegas, NV
September 18 / Harlow's / Sacramento, CA
September 19 / Warfield Theatre / San Francisco, CA
** September 24 / Boulder Theater / Boulder, CO
** September 25 / State Room / Salt Lake City, UT

** indicates new tour dates

Kamasi Washington International Performances:

October 22 / TBD / Sydney, Australia
October 24 / Soulfest Sydney / Sydney, Australia
October 25 / Soulfest Melbourne / Melbourne, Australia
October 26 / Soulfest / Auckland, New Zealand
October 30 - November 1 / Blue Note Tokyo / Tokyo, Japan
November 4 / Bird / Rotterdam, Holland
November 5 / Bitterzoet / Amsterdam, Holland
November 6 / Greunspan / Hamburg, Germany
November 7 / So What's Next Festival / Eindhoven, Holland
November 8 / Enjoy Jazz Festival / Mannheim, Germany
November 9 / Locomotiv / Bologna, Italy
November 10 / Monk Club / Rome, Italy
November 11 / Tunnel / Milan, Italy
November 13 / Lantern / Bristol, UK
November 14 / EFG London Jazz Festival / London, UK
November 15 / Trabendo / Paris, France
November 16 / AB Club / Brussels, Belgium
November 17 / Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld / Cologne, Germany
November 18 / Unterfahrt / Munich, Germany
November 21 / Le Guess Who Festival / Utrecht, Netherlands
November 22 / Neue Heimat / Berlin, Germany
November 23 / DR Concert House 2 / Copenhagen, Denmark
November 24 / Victoria / Oslo, Norway
November 25 / Fasching / Stockholm, Sweden
November 26 / Nefertiti / Gothenburg, Sweden
November 27 / Folken / Stavanger, Norway
November 28 / Verftet / Bergen, Norway
** November 30 / Circus Club / Helsinki, Finland

** indicates new tour dates