Theft of the Dial: Kamasi Washington


Kamasi Washington
Kamasi Washington (Nate Ryan | MPR)
Theft of the Dial: Kamasi Washington
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| 01:00:11

"I'm a second-generation musician," saxophonist Kamasi Washington explains. "My dad's a jazz musician, so I kind of came out of the womb with John Coltrane playing."

Kamasi Washington's father, Rickey Washington, was a woodwinds player as well as a producer, arranger, session musician and later, a music teacher. Kamasi grew up surrounded by music and learning instruments, including drums, piano and clarinet ("It was almost a pre-requisite in my family," Kamasi says). But when he first expressed interest in taking up the saxophone, Kamasi's father wasn't keen on the idea. " He is a saxophone player and he grew up in the '70s, and in the '70s you had to be a doubler, so you had to play saxophone, flute and clarinet, and clarinet is the most difficult of those three," Kamasi explains. "So he wanted me to get better at clarinet, but one day he left the saxophone out, and I just took it and I learned this Wayne Shorter song and I was like 'Look — it's too late. I can already play the saxophone. You might as well let this go!'"

Kamasi grew up surrounded by friends — Thundercat and Ronald Bruner, Jr. among them — who were the children of his father's musician friends. Kamasi was also influenced by his father's friend Art Blakey. All of those influences, as well as Kamasi's own musical journey, shaped Kamasi's musical tastes. Kamasi Washington shares some of his favorite music in a Theft of the Dial hosted by Mary Lucia.

Use the audio player above to listen to the complete Theft of the Dial with Kamasi Washington.


Kamasi Washington - Truth (Harmony of Difference)
King Crimson - In The Wake of Poseidon (In The Wake of Poseidon)
Ryan Porter - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (Spangle-Lang Lane)
Kendrick Lamar - Mortal Man (To Pimp A Butterfly)
Teebs f/ Lars Horntveth - Wavxxes (Estara)
Josef Leimberg - Celestial Visions (Astral Progressions)
Thundercat - Them Changes (The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam)
Kamasi Washington - Re Run Home (The Epic)

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens


Kamasi Washington - official site

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  • Kamasi Washington
    Kamasi Washington (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Kamasi Washington
    Kamasi Washington (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Kamasi Washington
    Kamasi Washington (Nate Ryan | MPR)