BY Jessica Nikolich
Jazz sax demon Kamasi Washington, who taught himself how to first blow the brass notes on his father’s musical instrument of choice at age 13, has had a huge year. An epic one, most would say. His aptly named solo release The Epic clocks in just shy of three hours and is densely layered with Washington’s own ten-piece band, The Next Step, alongside a full string orchestra and choir. His roster of collaborations is far and wide including Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, Chaka Khan, and most notably working on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. He’s making jazz cool again, appealing to the believers and nonbelievers alike. For a real sonic treat, turn up Washington’s syrupy smooth take on the timeless tune “Clair de Lune.” Fingers crossed it swells across Sunday’s stage just as the sun starts to dip below Chicago’s skyline.