Live Concert Photography: Blue Note Jazz Festival: Kamasi Washington with DJ Natasha Diggs and Jacob Collier at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park 6/18/16

Live Concert Photography: Blue Note Jazz Festival: Kamasi Washington with DJ Natasha Diggs and Jacob Collier at SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield, Central Park 6/18/16

Thanks to his appearance on Kendrick Lamar‘s 2014 critically acclaimed smash-hit To Pimp a Butterfly, saxophonist Kamasi Washington exploded into national consciousness — and with the 2015 release of his massive three disc, three-hour magnum opus The Epic,  which features collaborations with the likes of JOVM mainstay artist Stephen “Thundercat” Bruner, Washington quickly established himself as being an uncompromising, sonically challenging and inventive artist, whose sound meshes elements of modal jazz, swing, hard-bop, jazz fusion, acid jazz and several other styles with hip-hop, electronic music and a number of other genres to craft a futuristic and space age sound that has been described as a vital link between John Coltrane, Sun Ra — all white managing to be accessible. But perhaps more important, Washington has been considered part of the forefront of jazz’s contemporary renaissance, as well its resurgence within mainstream consciousness.  Washington headlined an impressive SummerStage set at Rumsey Playfield that featured material off The Epic plus material that will appear on a forthcoming full-length.

Opening the afternoon and playing in between sets was DJ Natasha Diggs, who has opened for the likes of Erykah BaduMark Ronson, Grandmaster Flash, Just Blaze, Dam-Funk, The Pharcyde, Rakim, Slum Village, The Foreign Exchange, Kenny Dope, 45 King, Cut Chemist, DJ Spinderella, DJ Scratch, Prince Paul, DJ Spinna, DJ Muro, and others. Young, up-and-coming London, UK-based multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer Jacob Collier opened up the afternoon with a set of jazz that meshes funk, trip-hop, soul and several other genres while employing the use of samplers and looping machines and pedals.

Check out photos from the evening below.

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(Photo Caption: Up-and-coming London-based multi-instrumentalist and composer Jacob Collier performing at SummerStage last weekend.)

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(Photo Caption: Fans during Jacob Collier’s opening set at SummerStage last weekend.)

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IMG-0684 (Photo Caption: DJ Natasha Diggs on the 1s and 2s at SummerStage last weekend.) IMG-0685

IMG-0686 (Photo Caption: Fans jamming out to Natasha Diggs’ DJ set featuring 80s R&B and funk before the night’s headliner, Kamasi Washington took the stage.) IMG-0688

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(Photo Caption: Kamasi Washington and his amazing backing band performing material off The Epic and a forthcoming, new album at SummerStage Rumsey Playfield last weekend.)

For these photos and more, check out the Flickr set here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskCMyrTa

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