Hey, how we doing

by Miles Griffis

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Hey, how we doing

Notes from WeTransfer's blisteringly good How We Do: LA showcase

Under the effusive Spanish Gothic stylings of the Ace Theatre in DTLA, WeTransfer assembled a collection of eclectic artists for the launch of How We Do: LA—curated by their creative director, British DJ Gilles Peterson.

The Toronto based quartet BADBADNOTGOOD opened the evening with a smooth opener of Nora Jones’ “Don’t Know Why” before sharing an armful of tracks from their new album “IV”. Their energy built into beautiful crescendos followed by merry-go-round solos emphasising each instrument: drums, keys, saxophone, and bass. The drums of Alexander Sowinski were a musical highlight of the night.

Following was Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and his 11-piece jazz orchestra who were joined by special guest after special guest including The Gaslamp Killer, Bilal, George Clinton and company, and Nai Palm. Near the end of the first set surprise guest and Kendrick Lamar collaborator Kamasi Washington joined the stage and hypnotized the audience with his prodigious saxophone playing, and an extended rendition of his song “Askim”. Washington was the most memorable portion of the evening, bestowing his soul through a passionate ostinato that resonated in the audiences’ heads all through the second intermission and later out into the shadowed streets of DTLA.

While the musicians rested for the third act, Peterson elaborated on his future plans to bring more live jazz, soul, and RnB to Los Angeles, saying the night was the beginning of a jazzy future. The third act included more collaborations with Atwood-Ferguson and special guests that bled into a two hour closing set by Peterson tying an improvised bow on an exhaustively complete six hour show.

An event playlist can be listened to here.