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Kamasi Washington: 2018

Kamasi Washington Crew at WFUV

Kamasi Washington Crew at WFUV (photo by Mary Munshower)



Kamasi Washington — composer, sax player, band leader, and freedom fighter — visited Studio A with his 10-piece band. His 2015 debut, The Epic, lived up to that title and more, swinging the doors open for progressive and dynamic new jazz.

He returned in 2017 with an EP, Harmony of Difference. The release explores the philosophical possibilities of the musical technique known as counterpoint which Washington defines as “the art of balancing similarity and difference to create harmony between separate melodies.” He extends that definition to a desire to create something that opens people’s minds to the gift of diversity.

Washingon's FUV Live session starts with a piece he calls "Re Run" and following that composition, we'll hear "Truth."

Washington feels that the songs on Harmony of Difference all come together in "Truth," describing it as a spiritual journey. Says Washington: "'Desire' is the first stage of starting the journey. You have to want truth. You have to want enlightenment to ever get it. 'Humility' is the next stage. You have to know that you don’t know, and accept that you don’t know, in order to start the journey. 'Knowledge' is about bringing in information and learning what’s going on. 'Perspective' is basically the wisdom to understand that the knowledge you have is still relative to your position in the world, and that knowledge is not absolute. And as you understand more perspectives, that knowledge becomes more valuable. As you come to understand what that truth is, have the integrity to accept it regardless of whether it’s what you wanted it to be or not."

[recorded: 11/21/17]