The 12-minute-long “Change of the Guard” opens Kamasi Washington’s three disc, 172-minute long debut odyssey appropriately titled The Epic.
The album has generated critical acclaim; most recently, Washington won the first-ever American Music Prize for the album. Throughout the years, Washington has built up quite the resume, performing and recording with legendary artists such as Lauryn Hill, Mos Def and Freddie Hubbard. Most recently he arranged strings and played the sax on Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy award-winning album, To Pimp a Butterfly.
Washington’s work on To Pimp a Butterfly is heard on the track “For Free? (Interlude),” where he uses his saxophone to add a jazzy feel to the track. You can see Washington and his notorious afro in the background of the accompanying music video–saxophone in hand–among the band.
You can learn more about Washington, his influences and his work on To Pimp a Butterfly in the GQ video below:
Washington will be taking his work on the road as he’s currently on tour. He’ll be traveling around the world and also in the U.S. with stops including Rhode Island.