After more than a year’s closure, the LA Phil kicked off KCRW-FM’s annual World Festival at the iconic Hollywood Bowl with jazz saxophonist extraordinaire Kamasi Washington and American rapper, songwriter Earl Sweatshirt.
It was an evening of celebration, as people gathered to picnic or dine at one of the Bowls restaurants before the show. Laughter and joy were in the air as friends re-connected after the long COVID closure.
Earl Sweatshirt opened the show with Shattered Dreams from his Some Rap Songs Album, which talks about the idea of living in a dream and not wanting to wake up. This established the theme for the rest of his show laying bare his feeling and emotions to the audience.
After intermission, LA’s jazz luminary Kamasi Washington returned to the Bowl with new music and promised top-secret surprise guests. Resplendent in a shimmering blue and gold robe as sensational and colorful as his music, Washington took command, his music, his presence electric. It’s impossible to pick favorites, but the very personal Sun Kissed Child was something special. Written for his newborn daughter he explained how he had thought he knew about love, had written songs about love, but once his daughter was born he realized that he had never felt love like that and the song just came to him.
As for surprise guests, Kamasi delivered as promised debuting his cover of “My Friend of Misery” by Metallica with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Robert Trujillo, along with bassist Thundercat and DJ Battlecat sharing the stage.
Washington closed the show with the Bruce Lee movie theme “Fists of Fury”. This song being Kamasi’s call to action, with vocalists Dwight Trible and Patrice Quinn declaring in unison “I use hands to help my fellow man/ And when I’m faced with unjust injury/Then I change my hands to fists of fury.
The KCRW World Festival will continue on August 1, with Ziggy Marley and Wailing Souls, September 18, Brittany Howard, Jamila Woods and Georgia Anne Muldrow, and September 25, James Blake with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
For tickets and a complete schedule of the remaining 3 concerts in the KCRW Work Festival, visit: https://www.hollywoodbowl.com/