Kassa Overall is a jazz musician, emcee, singer, producer and drummer, a product of New York City’s jazz scene who melds avant-garde experimentation with hip-hop production techniques to tilt the nexus of jazz and hip-hop in unmapped directions, reflecting a panoramic musical background from West Coast G-Funk to the sounds of the New York underground.
In the past two years, Overall has released four critically acclaimed projects, GO GET ICE CREAM AND LISTEN TO JAZZ, I THINK I’M GOOD, SHADES OF FLU and SHADES OF FLU 2, gathering support from artistic visionaries including Virgil Abloh and Thom Yorke. Whatever the experiment, Overall remains faithful to the pocket of jazz drums in the tradition of his mentors, the late Elvin Jones and Billy Hart, with whom he studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Overall has been working at the forefront of jazz for two decades, touring and recording as a sideman drummer with artists as varied as Geri Allen, Steve Coleman, Francis and the Lights, Yoko Ono, Peter Evans, Carmen Lundy, and Gary Bartz. His work as a producer can be heard on albums by Theo Croker (Escape Velocity), Arto Lindsay (Cuidado Madame), and Das Racist (Sit Down, Man). He’s also featured as an emcee and DJ on drummer Terri Lyne Carrington’s latest project, Social Science — a project for which he received a Grammy nomination.
Raised in Seattle, Washington, Overall attended Garfield High School, the alma mater of Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix. He is currently based in Brooklyn.
“Raw, underground, and chaotic…one of modern jazz music’s most audacious futurists.” - Pitchfork
“I Think I'm Good is alive with spontaneity and outcomes too wild to be scripted. It's not another jazz-meets-hip-hop scrum: It's the sound of whole new lanes opening up.“ - NPR All Things Considered
“While Kassa Overall began his musical career as a jazz drummer — and remains a damn fine one — his artistic arc is increasingly taking him into creative spaces without easy categorization. It’s the sound of an artist raising his game. Powerful shit!” - Afropunk