Credit: JazzFestBrno

Brno Jazz Festival To Host US Star Kamasi Washington

Organisers of the year-long Brno Jazz Festival recently announced a big name for the autumn part of the festival: California’s Kamasi Washington.

The cult saxophonist will present his new album ‘Fearless Movement’ at the JazzFestBrno festival on 5 November, performing at Sono Centrum. The ticket sale for his concert will start tomorrow, 19 April, at 10am. The album itself will be released soon, on 3 May. 

Kamasi Washington is a versatile performer, known for his appearances at major summer festivals like Primavera Sound, Coachella, and Glastonbury, but also for frequent collaborations with renowned rappers like Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar, and producer Flying Lotus. He received two Grammy nominations for his original score for the film ‘Becoming’, about the life of Michelle Obama, as well as the EP Dinner Party: Dessert. 

Vilém Spilka, the artistic director of the festival, expressed his enthusiasm for the announcement. “Kamasi Washington personifies the variability of the jazz scene and the interconnectedness with other genres,” he explained. “Washington’s roots are basically jazz, but initially he played with musicians more from the field of hip hop and electronica – already during his studies he became friends with the progressive personality of black music, Thundercat, with whom he has been working in parallel ever since.”

Washington employs a diverse range of styles; on the one hand, he plays loose and brisk improvisations with funk energy, while on the other hand, he uses massive orchestral sound as well as psychedelic-like techniques, as in his conceptual three-hour-long album projects ‘The Epic’ (2015) and ‘Heaven and Earth’ (2018).

Washington’s new album will feature guest appearances from the iconic rapper André 3000 of Outkast, and the “godfather of funk”, the 82-year-old George Clinton. 

Coming up soon in the Brno Jazz Festival, April culminates with the International Jazz Day celebrations on 30 April, organised by the U.S. pianist Emmet Cohen with his trio and the Kravchenko Clees Duo at the Husa na Provázku theatre. On 1 May, the cult American band Snarky Puppy will celebrate 20 years since their founding at Sono Centrum. 

Trumpet player Chris Botti, winner of a Grammy award for the album “Impressions” and a past collaborator with Sting, Paul Simon, and many other world stars, will bring his own band to Janáček Theatre on 12 May, moving on the edge of rhythm and blues, jazz, funk, and gospel. The first half of this year’s JazzFestBrno festival will end on 2 June in Husa na Provázku with the traditional Syncop Celebration.

More information about concerts and tickets can be found here.

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