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Kassa Overall excels in the recording studio and Studio X

Kassa Overall keeps himself busy. He's a drummer, producer, emcee, singer and bandleader currently leading his quintet on a worldwide tour supporting his new album Animals.

Featuring guest stars like Laura Mvula, Danny Brown, Vijay Iyer, Theo Croker and many more, Animals is meticulously produced. The sounds of each instrument are just right, the arrangements are timed perfectly and the guests sound like practiced members of Overall's band.

Live on stage, though, the five versatile musicians take Overall's music to another level. It's more free-flowing and improvisational - more jazz, you might say.

Overall and his bandmates bring plenty of skill to their performances and they also respond and provoke each other to emotional musical moments an audience can't resist.

With Tomoki Sanders on soprano saxophone, percussion, drums and vocals; Bendji Allonce on percussion and vocals; Giulio Xavier playing upright and electric basses and singing; Ian Finklestein at the piano, the Kassa Overall band lit up our Studio X with a pair of songs from Animals, a favorite from his first album, and a cover of "Libra" by saxophonist Gary Bartz.

Overall has played and recorded with Bartz and will return to producing the jazz veteran's new album when this current tour settles down. That could be awhile. The Earshot Jazz Festival presents Kassa Overall and his band back in Seattle at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute October 26, in a DJ set at the Royal Room October 27, and at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art's Within Earshot series October 28.

Enjoy this exciting studio session from Kassa Overall and consider catching the band in person next month.


  • Kassa Overall - drums, vocals
  • Tomoki Sanders - soprano sax, percussion, drums, vocals
  • Ian Finklestein - piano
  • Giulio Xavier - bass, vocals
  • Bendji Allonce - percussion, vocals


  1. Find Me (Overall)
  2. Libra (Gary Bartz)
  3. Prison and Pharmaceuticals/Hot Music (Overall/Soho)
  4. Make My Way Back Home (Overall)
Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.
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