The band are all from Los Angeles, mostly South Central, and
its members - who call themselves variously “The Next Step” and the “The West
Coast Get Down” - have been congregating since they were barely teenagers in a backyard
shack in Inglewood. Washington, 32, has known Bruner since he was two. The rest
met, at various stages, by the time they were in high school. The hours they
have put into the music, playing together and practicing alone, total cumulatively
in the tens of thousands.“Nothing compares to these guys,” says Barbara Sealy,
the former West Coast director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jass, who
has championed Kamasi and his compatriots from the beginning. “I challenge any
group to go out on stage with them and see if they can keep up with it...
Kamasi is at the top of his game, and only getting better.” “ These young
guys,” the rapper Common says, “remind me of why I love music.”And the story
The Epic tells, without words but rather through some combination of magic,
mastery, and sheer force of imagination, is the story of Kamasi Washington and the
Next Step and their collective mission: to remove jazz from the shelf of relics
and make it new, unexpected, and dangerous again.