Mel D. Cole

Film / TVMusic

kamasi washington releases ‘live at the apollo’ film

February 6, 2020
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On February 23, 2019 saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Kamasi Washington and his 10-piece band The Next Step, gave a rapturous performance at the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York City. This historic show, co-presented by AFROPUNK and the Apollo, was captured on film and now, nearly a year later, Washington, his label Young Turks, and Amazon have released Kamasi Washington Live at The Apollo Theater, via Amazon Prime Video.

The film, directed by Michael Garber (and produced in part by AFROPUNK music editor, Timmhotep Aku) is part concert film and part documentary. The performances are interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage of the band and monologues from Washington as he walks the jazz history-rich streets of Harlem, making a pilgrimage to hallowed grounds such as Minton’s Playhouse, the legendary spot where Charlie Parker played and bebop was born; the National Jazz Museum, where Washington gets the chance to play Duke’s Ellington’s piano; and neighborhood landmarks like Revolution Bookstore and Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market.

“Playing at the Apollo Theater is one of the greatest honors that a musician can have,” says Washington. “When I walked down 125th Street from my hotel in Harlem and saw my name on the marquee I almost couldn’t believe it. To be a part of that prestigious group of brilliant musical minds was truly humbling for me. To say that night was one of the most amazingly special nights of my life is a grave understatement. I’m so happy and thankful to be able to share this moment with people all over the world. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!”

Stream Kamasi Washington Live at The Apollo Theater on Amazon Prime Video now.