Kamasi Washington Captures A Full Audience At The Fitzgerald Theater


Doors were at 7 and the show began at 8. By that time, the vast majority of attendees had made their way into the theater to grab drinks from the bar and find their seats. Those who didn’t make it there at 8, missed out on a fantastic opportunity to catch local band, Astrablak. The group, formally known as Zuluzuluu, has been climbing the charts of the local scene through critic support, larger-band endorsement, and of course, killer stage presence. The band played a tightly composed 45-minute set influenced by both modern electronic noise and fundamental funk and jazz compositions. The group explored large, more existential ideas such as existence within our Universe as well as a smaller, more predominant theme, of existence in our country as a minority. With their roots planted firmly in the local scene and spring approaching, I would argue without a doubt this group is bound to shoot up and make its way into many people’s music listening.

At 9 pm sharp Kamasi Washington and his band took stage. For those unfamiliar, Washington is a professionally trained jazz musician working to take a modern take on what the genre means and how it can exist in the modern social and political scene. One of the many ways he achieves this is by bringing together an epic group of musicians. With two drummers, a bassist, trombonist, singer, and keyboardist, Washington ensures the delivery of sound. “We’re going to play five melodies at a time just to show how beautiful things can be when we come together.”, Washington stated before going into a song that’s name is lost on me. The quote, however, summarizes the bands’ great achievement to constantly play throughout the night a diverse mix of melodies, harmonies, and sounds, all well providing mind-blowing music. The group worked their way through long, sophisticated jams, taking breaks only when it seemed physically necessary. To try and summarize just how “in the moment” the group was, one of the two drummers ended up knocking over one of their cymbal stands with a loud crash. The reaction, however, was delayed by the band due to their investment in the song they were playing. While leaving the venue, my friend and photographer for the show mentioned something along the lines of how great of a privilege it is to have seen one of the world’s best modern saxophone players and overall musicians. I absolutely agree with him.