End of Year Musical Interlude — Kamasi Washington and band performing “Change of the Guard”

Named one of Paste’s 20 Best New Bands of 2015, Kamasi Washington is part of the “West Coast Get Down” jazz music collective.  He is both a natural and educated musicologist, picking up his father’s sax at the age of 13 and going on to earning his chops through the renowned Hamilton High School Music Academy, where he excelled and earned a full scholarship in ethnomusicology at UCLA.  He has been followed from his earliest years as one of the brightest lights in modern jazz music, bringing together disparate sounds and traditions, molding them into a unique sound of his own making.  He released a three-CD album entitled appropriately The Epic earlier this year.  Hailed by music critics across many musical genres, he has brought back a modern big band sound that combines straight-ahead jazz, strings, feedback, turntable breaks, rap, funk, acid jazz, chamber jazz, R&B, eastern music, naturalistic and electronic sounds, and choir into a cohesive mix that sometimes teeters into chaos, returning to structure, and taking off again into another dimension.  Here he and his band is at Jazz Night in America performing “Change of the Guard.”  Absolutely breathtaking and inventive.

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