West Coast Get Down

The West Coast Get Down is an American jazz collective formed in Los Angeles in 2006. Its members include saxophonist Kamasi Washington, bassists Miles Mosley and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, drummers Ronald Bruner Jr. and Tony Austin, pianists Cameron Graves and Brandon Coleman, trombonist Ryan Porter, and multi-instrumentalist Terrace Martin. Most of the members of the group gained prominence for their contributions to Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed album To Pimp a Butterfly (2015).[2]

West Coast Get Down
From left: Miles Mosley, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner Jr., Kamasi Washington, and Ryan Porter, performing at BRIC JazzFest in Brooklyn in 2015
From left: Miles Mosley, Terrace Martin, Ronald Bruner Jr., Kamasi Washington, and Ryan Porter, performing at BRIC JazzFest in Brooklyn in 2015
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California
Years active2009–present

Described as the "Wu-Tang Clan of jazz,"[3] the collective has been hailed for "revitalizing jazz for younger audiences."[1][4][5]


1993–2009: OriginsEdit

Each member of the collective grew up in Los Angeles County.[2] Though they attended different high schools, they were first brought together in 1993 thanks to Locke High School music educator Reggie Andrews, who led an extracurricular music ensemble in Watts called the Multi-School Jazz Band; and Barbara Sealy and Robert Brodhead, who raised funds for Andrews after-school programs through the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.[6][7] Members of this band include Kamasi Washington (saxophone), brothers Stephen Bruner (bass) and Ronald Bruner Jr. (drums), Miles Mosley (bass), Tony Austin (drums), Brandon Coleman (keyboard), Cameron Graves (piano), and Ryan Porter (trombone).[8][9]

As high schoolers, the group held some of their jam sessions in Washington's garage studio, affectionately dubbed "the Shack."[2] and at after-school programs and gigs around the City of LA, procured and produced by Andrews and Sealy. The larger group began performing at jazz clubs throughout Los Angeles after graduation, including at the World Stage, an African-American arts space in Leimert Park founded by jazz drummer Billy Higgins, and at the coffee shop 5th Street Dick's.

The group, occasionally joined by vocalist Patrice Quinn, also had a residency at the Piano Bar, a Hollywood bar venue that became the group's home after Mosley created a space for them to perform when they were back off the road from their various tours. In 2008, Mosley led the twice-weekly performing residency at the Piano Bar that would last eight years until the space closed in 2016.[2][10] The West Coast Get Down collective was officially established at the Piano Bar in 2009, with Mosley as its founder.

2010–2015: Later collaborationsEdit

In December 2011, the West Coast Get Down rented studio space at Kingsize Soundlabs in Echo Park, where they recorded for 30 straight days from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., sometimes sleeping in the studio, in what came to be known as the "KSL Sessions." With Tony Austin doubling as the studio engineer,[11] they recorded around 190 songs, many of which later appeared on albums including Washington's Brainfeeder release The Epic (2015), Mosley's Uprising (2017), Ronald Bruner's Triumph (2017), Graves's Planetary Prince (2017), Coleman's Resistance (2018), and Mosley and Austin's joint project BFI (2014).[2][12][13][14] While productive, these sessions were taxing for the musicians, with Mosley recounting, "It was, creatively, the most freeing thing I've ever been a part of, but as a human being, it was really hard."[12] Porter has said, "Those sessions are a blur, honestly, but I just remember us approaching that music so cinematically."[2]

In 2013, rapper Kendrick Lamar, who had been friends with Terrace Martin since 2005,[15] enlisted Martin to work on his upcoming album To Pimp a Butterfly.[16] Martin later tapped Washington to provide string arrangements and saxophone parts.[17][18] Miles Mosley and Ronald Bruner Jr. also participated in the album's recording sessions.[2] To Pimp a Butterfly was released in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim, garnering 11 nominations and five wins at the 58th Grammy Awards.[12] It is regarded as one of the greatest hip hop albums of all time.[19]

2016–present: After To Pimp a ButterflyEdit

Before the Piano Bar closed in 2016, the West Coast Get Down played one of the venue's closing performances, a "secret show" with little advertisement.[12] Members of the group have since pursued their own projects and tours, often alongside some subset of the collective.[12] Regarding the future of the collective, Ronald Bruner Jr. said in 2020, "Being in this band is a gig forever. I could be 90 and Kamasi will still call me!" Washington said the group has discussed creating an album under the West Coast Get Down moniker sometime in the future.[2]



The West Coast Get Down has been noted for their contributions to the following albums:

Year Artist Album Ref.
2014 Miles Mosley and Tony Austin BFI [2]
2015 Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
Kamasi Washington The Epic
2017 Cameron Graves Planetary Prince
Ryan Porter Spangle-Lang Lane [20]
Ronald Bruner Jr. Triumph [2]
Miles Mosley Uprising
2018 Kamasi Washington Heaven and Earth [21]
Ryan Porter The Optimist [2]
Brandon Coleman Resistance
2020 Kamasi Washington Becoming (soundtrack) [22]


  1. ^ a b Valente, Sarah (August 31, 2022). "Vail Jazz Workshop alumnus Ryan Porter: 'The music chose me'". VailDaily. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hobbs, Thomas (June 26, 2020). "The history of the West Coast Get Down, LA's jazz giants". Dazed. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  3. ^ Kinos-Goodin, Jesse (May 17, 2017). "Everything you need to know about the West Coast Get Down". CBC Radio. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  4. ^ Newcomb, Ming Lee (August 17, 2017). "PREMIERE: Jazz Bassist Miles Mosley Shares New Music Video For "Shadow Of Doubt"". Live for Live Music. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  5. ^ Waring, Charles (April 8, 2019). "Bassist Miles Mosley On Jazz's "Nutrient-Dense" Past, Present And Future". uDiscover Music. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  6. ^ Effinger, Shannon (October 28, 2016). "Q&A with Terrace Martin: From Hip-Hop to Herbie Hancock". Downbeat. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  7. ^ "ALL THAT JAZZ". Los Angeles Times. April 22, 2001. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Weiner, Natalie (July 29, 2015). "Way Out West: How Flying Lotus, Kamasi Washington, and Brainfeeder Are Bringing Jazz Back to the People". Vice. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  9. ^ Ducker, Eric (July 22, 2015). "LA jazz: how Kamasi Washington and Thundercat are breathing new life into the west coast scene". The Guardian. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  10. ^ O'Connell, Sean (May 20, 2015). "The Epicness of Kamasi Washington and the West Coast Get Down". KCET. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  11. ^ Ratliff, Ben (April 24, 2015). "Los Angeles Jazz With Kamasi Washington and Others". The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  12. ^ a b c d e Coplen, Hayden (June 1, 2017). "How Los Angeles Got Its Jazz Mojo Back". Gear Patrol. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  13. ^ Shatz, Adam (January 21, 2016). "Kamasi Washington's Giant Step". The New York Times. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  14. ^ West, Michael (July 29, 2019). "The "Optimistic" Jazz of Kendrick & Kamasi Collaborator Ryan Porter". Bandcamp Daily. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  15. ^ Freeman, Phil (November 2, 2021). "Interview: Terrace Martin On Kendrick, Snoop, Herbie, Kamasi, & His New Album 'Drones'". Stereogum. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  16. ^ Golden, Zara (March 16, 2015). "Here's A Timeline Of Everything That Led Up To Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly". The FADER. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  17. ^ Espinoza, Joshua (October 3, 2017). "Kamasi Washington on 'To Pimp a Butterfly': 'That Record Changed Music'". Complex. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  18. ^ Zo (January 5, 2016). "Watch Kamasi Washington Jam w/ Terrace Martin, Discuss 'To Pimp A Butterfly'". Okayplayer. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  19. ^ Conteh, Mankaprr (June 7, 2022). "The 200 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  20. ^ Collar, Matt. "Ryan Porter Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  21. ^ Van Nguyen, Dean (July 22, 2018). "Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth review – A jazz genius at work". The Irish Times. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  22. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Kamasi Washington - Becoming Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved January 11, 2023.