UK jazz keyboardist Kamaal Williams, who also makes electronic music as Henry Wu and played in Katy B's band, had a major (and much deserved) breakthrough in his career with 2016's Black Focus, released as a duo with drummer Yussef Dayes under the name Yussef Kamaal. It saw Kamaal and Yussef combining early '70s jazz-funk fusion with more modern-day hip hop and electronic music, and coming out with a masterful blend of the old and the new. It's got a similar kind of jazz/hip hop synthesis to other modern-day greats like Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, Thundercat, and Terrace Martin, and like those artists, it has a lot of crossover appeal. Kamaal followed the album this year with a new solo album, The Return (with Pete Martin on bass and MckNasty on drums), which basically picks up where Black Focus left off and also takes Kamaal's sound in a few exciting new directions. The Return is one of 2018's true gems, and if you haven't heard it, you can stream it below. A partial stream of Black Focus is below too.

Kamaal is touring the UK and Europe as we speak, and he just recently announced his first US show of 2019: Bay Area festival Noise Pop, which runs from February 25 to March 3 at various venues. He's part of the initial lineup, which also includes Beirut, Bob Mould, Teenage Fanclub, Albert Hammond Jr, Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy), My Brightest Diamond, Haley Heynderickx, H.C. McEntire, and more. Full initial lineup for Noise Pop below. Current schedule, ticket info, and more here.

No other U.S. shows announced for Kamaal just yet, but if he's coming over from the UK to play California, here's to hoping he stops on the East Coast beforehand or afterwards. All currently announced dates are listed below.

Kamal Williams -- 2018/2019 Tour Dates
OCT 30 Zurich, Switzerland Moods
NOV 03 Auvergne-Rhne-Alpes, France Le Sucre
NOV 06 Manchester, United Kingdom Gorilla
NOV 07 Leeds, United Kingdom Belgrave Music Hall
NOV 08 Birmingham, United Kingdom The Crossing
NOV 13 Darlinghurst, Australia Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
NOV 15 Fortitude Valley Qld, Australia The Zoo
DEC 02 Paris, France Cigale
DEC 05 Brighton, United Kingdom Komedia
DEC 06 London, United Kingdom Electric Brixton
MAR 01 Oakland, CA Starline Social Club (Noise Pop)


Noise Pop 2019 Initial Lineup
Bob Mould
Teenage Fanclub
Albert Hammond Jr.
Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy)
Current Joys
VHS Collection
Caroline Rose
My Brightest Diamond
Haley Heynderickx
Helado Negro
Kamaal Williams
Oh Pep!
Jitwam (Live Band)
Club Night
Los Wálters
H.C. McEntire
Gap Girls

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