February 18, 1981|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Associated acts||Flying Lotus, Ibeyi, Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels, Thundercat|
Kamasi Washington was born in Los Angeles, California, on February 2, 1981 to musical parents and educators, and was raised in Inglewood, California. He is a graduate of the Academy of Music of Alexander Hamilton High School in Beverlywood, Los Angeles. Washington next enrolled in UCLA's Department of Ethnomusicology, where he began playing with faculty members such as Kenny Burrell, Billy Higgins and band leader/trumpeter Gerald Wilson. Washington features in the album Young Jazz Giants in 2004. He has played along with a diverse group of musicians including Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Horace Tapscott, Gerald Wilson, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Snoop Dogg, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Mike Muir, Francisco Aguabella, the Pan Afrikaan People's Orchestra and Raphael Saadiq.
Washington ventured into big band music when he joined the Gerald Wilson Orchestra for their 2006 album In My Time. Washington played saxophone on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly. His debut solo recording, The Epic, was released in May 2015 to critical acclaim. His second studio album, Heaven and Earth, was released in June 2018, with a companion EP titled The Choice released a week later.
- Winner, 1999 : John Coltrane Music Competition
- Live at 5th Street Dick's, (self-released, 2005)
- The Proclamation, (self-released, 2007)
- Light of the World, (self-released, 2008)
- The Epic, (Brainfeeder, 2015)
- Harmony of Difference, (Young Turks, 2017)
- Heaven and Earth (Young Turks, 2018)
- The Choice (Young Turks, 2018)
- Gold by Ryan Adams (Lost Highway, 2001)
- Blackberry Belle by The Twilight Singers (One Little Indian, 2003)
- Young Jazz Giants – with Cameron Graves, Stephen Bruner, Ronald Bruner (Birdman, 2004)
- Perseverance by Phil Ranelin (Wide Hive, 2011)
- Chameleon by Harvey Mason – on "Black Frost" (Concord, 2014)
- Up by Stanley Clarke – on "I Have Something To Tell You Tonight" (Mack Avenue, 2014)
- You're Dead! by Flying Lotus (Warp, 2014)
- To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar – arranger on "Mortal Man" (Aftermath/Interscope, 2015)
- The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam by Thundercat (Brainfeeder, 2015)
- Run the Jewels 3 by Run the Jewels – on "Thursday in the Danger Room" (Mass Appeal/RED, 2016)
- Drunk by Thundercat (Brainfeeder, 2017)
- Damn by Kendrick Lamar – strings on "Lust" (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope, 2017)
With Throttle Elevator Music
- Throttle Elevator Music (Wide Hive, 2012)
- Area J (Wide Hive, 2014)
- Jagged Rocks (Wide Hive, 2015)
- Throttle Elevator Music IV (Wide Hive, 2016)
With the Gerald Wilson Orchestra
- Serrano, Shea (2012-07-05). "Music Picks: Hootenanny, The Moonbeams, Kamasi Washington". Laweekly.com. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
- Welch, Will. "Meet Kamasi Washington, the High Priest of Sax." GQ, January 5, 2016. Retrieved May 15, 2016.
- Kellman, Andy. "Kamasi Washington | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- "Listen to Kamasi Washington Talk Kendrick, Coltrane, More With Marc Maron on "WTF"". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- Blanco, Edward. "Gerald Wilson Orchestra: In My Time." Allaboutjazz.com, January 4, 2006.
- Weiner, Natalie (March 26, 2015). "How Kendrick Lamar Transformed Into 'The John Coltrane of Hip-Hop' on 'To Pimp a Butterfly'". Billboard. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- Colter Walls, Seth (8 May 2015). "Kamasi Washington: The Epic". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
- Thom Jurek. "The Epic – Kamasi Washington | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-05-05.
- "Kamasi Washington announces Harmony of Difference EP release on 12"". Thevinylfactory.com. July 31, 2017. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- Wicks, Amanda (April 9, 2018). "Kamasi Washington Announces New Album Heaven and Earth". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 10, 2018.
- "Throttle Elevator Music – Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 August 2016.