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Venue:
Union Transfer1026 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA Map
Price: SOLD OUT!
Saturday, November 25, 2017 - 8:30pm

Kamasi Washington

An Evening of Spiritual Jazz

Ars Nova Workshop and Union Transfer are pleased to present the inventive, electrifying saxophonist, composer and bandleader Kamasi Washington.

 

Part of the expansive, genre-warping West Coast musical collective known as the “West Coast Get Down,” Kamasi Washington seized the world’s attention with his sprawling three-disc, 172-minute album The Epic. Both a wildly ambitious debut and a career-defining magnum opus, the aptly-named album featured Washington’s 10-piece ensemble The Next Step along with a full string orchestra and choir.

 

Rolling Stone hailed Washington as “the most audacious player in a movement making the electric flurry of Seventies fusion jazz cool again,” while Pitchfork called him “unusually well poised to secure the attention of listeners who have previously been uninterested in jazz.”

 

In part, that crossover appeal stems from Washington’s widely praised collaborations in other genres, including his extensive work on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly and Flying Lotus’ inspired You’re Dead. Washington has also 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.

Sun Ra Arkestra

Though the iconic Sun Ra left the planet in 1993, his cosmic legacy is proudly maintained by the interstellar sounds of the Arkestra, which operates under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who celebrated his 92nd Arrival Day (or birthday, for the more Earthbound among you) in 2016. Fresh off a year-long celebration of Sun Ra’s centennial, the Arkestra returns to Johnny Brenda’s for another intimate All Hallow’s Eve. With such a massive, joyous songbook and the kind of well organized chaos that sees their legendary 2-hour sets move deftly between rolling grooves, sing-along chants and atonal blasts of mischievous brass, the Arkestra remain one of the most unmissable live acts today.

Sun Ra was one of the greatest and least known jazz artists of the last four decades, whose influence on diverse musicians is little known to the general public. A pianist and band leader, his style ranged from retro swing to avant free, and often in the same piece. His band could play a swinging Gershwin tune and almost imperceptibly soar into their free cosmic equational tones as if they possessed a single mind.  Ra was a keyboard improviser of great originality, but his foremost talent was for inspiring and teaching creative musicians to improvise freely but together. This tension between freedom and coherence was something he explored with abundant energy and skill.