In association with Blue Note Jazz Festival
At the age of 13, Kamasi Washington started a lifelong quest discovering the many wonders of music. Within two years at the prestigious Hamilton High School Music Academy, Kamasi earned the lead tenor saxophone chair in the top jazz ensemble and joined the Multi School Jazz Band (MSJB). During his senior year of high school, Kamasi formed his first band, The Young Jazz Giants, with childhood friends including Ronald Bruner, Stephen Bruner and Cameron Graves. After high school, Kamasi received a full scholarship to study ethnomusicology at UCLA, where he explored many of the non-western musical cultures around the world. During the summer after his freshman year, Kamasi recorded his first album with The Young Jazz Giants to spread new sounds of jazz all around the country. In his second year at UCLA, Kamasi went on his first national tour with the west coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. Later that year, Kamasi joined the orchestra of one of his biggest heroes, Gerald Wilson, and later went on his first international tour with R&B legend Raphael Saadiq. Over the years, Kamasi has performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. Kamasi’s own band The Next Step is a modern spin on a big band, which includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Kamasi is part of a west coast musical collective called the West Coast Get Down. Most recently, Kamasi worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly. On May 5, 2015, Kamasi released his groundbreaking solo album The Epic on the trend-setting record label Brainfeeder. The Epic is a 172-minute, triple-disc masterpiece, featuring Kamasi’s ten-piece band The Next Step along with a full string orchestra and full choir. The Epic debuted #1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK.
Jacob Collier is a remarkable 21 year-old multi-instrumentalist from London. Based in London, UK, Jacob has been inspired by many sounds – his music combines elements of Jazz, A cappella, Groove, Folk, Trip-hop, Classical music, Brazilian music, Gospel, Soul and Improvisation. Jacob has made a name for himself doing some of the most innovative and creative performance videos online, which have gone viral and turned numerous legendary artists into fans, including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Quincy Jones, who is now mentoring him. Jacob has spent the last year collaborating with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, designing and building a groundbreaking solo live performance vehicle, which brings his one-man, multi-instrumental, multi-visual format of music making to the stage in a way that has never been seen or heard before. His debut album, In My Room, will be out on July 1, 2016.
Natasha Diggs has established herself as one of the most versatile and sought after DJs in the world making a career out of sharing her deep knowledge of music and skills as a mixologist to crowds across the globe in cities such as New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Prague, Sydney and Beijing. Her broad spanning taste in music allows her to be equally comfortable playing underground loft parties as she is rocking massive events such as SummerStage in Central Park for thousands earning her respect in the world of music heads and a solid reputation amongst her clientele. Natasha has been called on as a trusted vibe setter and party starter for numerous celebrity, club and corporate clientele including Pharrell, Spike Lee, Google, Grey Goose, Nickelodeon, Samsung, Adidas, L’Oreal, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Museum and the MoMA to name a few. When not traversing the globe, Natasha can be found holding down the decks at her weekly NYC residency “Soul in the Horn,” the city’s premiere dance party and live music showcase celebrating horn infused music from around the world while bringing together some of the best NYC talent together in one room. In addition she hosts a weekly radio show at #837NYC and is regularly featured on radio platforms broadcast worldwide including Beats1 and Sirius XM.