On Wednesday, the brilliant jazz musician Kamasi Washington released a new single called “The Garden Path.” Hours later, he made his television debut on The Tonight Show, where he performed the song live for the first time. Watch the replay below.
Washington was backed by an incredible ensemble that included singers, horns and woodwinds, keyboard and synth, and an expansive percussion section. By my count, there were 14 performers (including Washington himself) squeezed onto the small sound stage, and together they delivered a dazzling jazz spectacle that calls to mind the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra.
“The Garden Path” marks Washington’s first new material in nearly a year. In 2021, he shared “Sun Kissed Child” as part of the Music for the Movement series curated by ESPN’s The Undefeated and also covered “My Friend of Misery” for the Metallica Blacklist charity compilation. His most recent album, Heaven and Earth, was released in 2018.
In November, he’ll join the likes of The War on Drugs and Toro y Moi at the Desert Daze festival.