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Kamasi Washington displays jazz genius in a concert of cosmic proportions

Kamasi Washington

The jazz messiah that is Kamasi Washington graced Sydney’s Opera House last night for an unforgettable display of sheer musical expression.

With an all star cast of touring musicians, Kamasi Washington brought down the roof upon a sold out Concert Hall crowd, proving that jazz is not only alive and well, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Kamasi Washington

Photos by Daniel Boud

With a setlist spread evenly across his catalogue Kamasi Washington served up two hours of world-class jazz, earning a well deserved standing ovation.

“I dunno if you know this already but I like drums,” Kamasi cheerfully exclaimed mid set.

This came as no surprise as many of their funk fuelled crescendos and expansive jazz structures were driven with the kinetic thrust of drummers Robert Miller Jr and Ronald Bruner Jr. Their intense conversations propelled much of the performance climaxing in a truly incredible meeting of the minds, wherein the stage was cleared for a rhythmic battle.

While the lush orchestration and thick choirs were absent, Washington’s compact 8-piece were more than capable of crafting compelling jazz narratives that burst with vibrance and vitality.

Opening with crowd favourite Street Fighter Mas, Kamasi exuded cosmic force and exclaimed his mastery before inviting his father, Rickey Washington to the stage for some soulful woodwind accompaniment.

Kamasi performs with such generous acceptance that each song plays out like a warm embrace. Truth, from the 2017 EP Harmony Of Difference, was a perfect example, as a multilayered melody acted as a musical metaphor for diversity.

Washington had successfully fanned the flames into a raging fire before closing the set with a remarkable rendition of Fists Of Fury, wherein Washington once again exclaimed his cosmic genius and the audience had no choice but to rise and cheer.

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October 10, 2019