The Artistry of… series is sponsored by the Alzheimer Society Music Project.
The Artistry of… Kamasi Washington
His artistry is all about the bridging. The word should only really be used for categorization, because what he does is play. Very much of his time, he’s one of his generation’s vanguards of progressive improvisation. He connects the greats and grands of the foundation years of jazz, bringing them directly to today’s audiences — giving them the experience of music unlike anything they may have experienced before.
If you ask what jazz music is and then listen to what and how Washington plays, you answer your own question. Jazz sounds like Kamasi. Jazz is what Kamasi does with music. The bridging has allowed visits with collaborative projects with artists like John Legend and Kendrick Lamar.
Cross the bridges with Washington and go back and forth freely, as the music plays, from one side to another until it all blends into one dynamic, glorious, wonderful art. His appeal bridges, too. His audiences are multi-ethnic and -generational, and he has wowed them at festivals like Coachella, Primavera, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock and Bonnaroo. This kind of artistry moves at the speed of jazz and ignites the spirit.