March 3, 2024

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Kamasi Washington on Igor Stravinsky and Art Blakey: Video

Kamasi Washington’s Heaven and Earth Tour reaches New York City on Tuesday, with a stop at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center opening for Florence and the Machine.

Over the summer we spoke with the Herculean saxophonist about some of his most important early music influences — from Art Blakey to Busta Rhymes to Stravinksy — during an onstage conversation at Jazz Middelheim in Antwerp, Belgium.

In addition to sharing his favorite pieces by those artists, Washington also sheds light on an extra-musical preoccupation: video games. The vintage arcade game Street Fighter 2, in particular, has occupied his imagination a lot over the years — so much so that he actually composed a theme song for himself as the arcade player, preparing to go into battle and annihilate the competition.

Kamasi Washington Performing at Jazz Middelheim in Antwerp

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