Mapleshade

KASH KILLION

Born in Alton, Illinois (Miles Davis’ home town), Kash was raised listening to jazz—his brother was a jazz trumpeter—in the very fertile music scene in and around East St. Louis. Drawn first to clarinet, then voice, flute, electric guitar and electric bass, Kash started performing at age ten.

Through high school he was working in doo-wop, funk, soul, rock and church groups. In 1974, he entered college and started studying classical contrabass. Soon he was also studying violin and cello. Moving to L.A. City College in 1976, piano giant Horace Tapscott became his mentor and Kash played bass in Tapscott’s Ark Orchestra; drummer Billy Higgins was part of that scene, too. This rekindled his interest in straightahead jazz. On the straightahead jazz front, Kasha has played with great players like Donald Byrd, George Cables, Billy Higgins, Bobby Hutcherson, James Newton, and Billy Bang.

Kash’s interest in avant garde jazz was ignited by Sun Ra in 1978—and further heightened by meeting and playing with Pharoah Sanders. In L.A. Kash was playing bass as his primary instrument, but getting more and more interested in cello. When he moved to the Bay Area in1984, he switched almost entirely to cello, mainly because of the freedom to use it in roles as diverse as a horn or a guitar or a bass.

In the Bay Area he started playing and touring with a number of avant garde groups, notably one with Paul Murphy, Glen Spearman and India Cook. That was the beginning of his long musical association with Paul Murphy.

Kash has played extensively in avant garde circles with such icons as Cecil Taylor, John Zorn, Julius Hemphill, Reggie Workman, Sun Ra, Butch Morris and George Lewis.

Kash also has a deep interest in world music. He is studying with the great Indian musician, Ali Akbar Khan, and is touring and recording with his orchestra. He has recorded Afro-Cuban music with several salsa groups. He composes and performs for both dance troupes and poets. Major poets he has accompanied including Amiri Baraka, Alice Walker, Quincy Troupe, Shirley Le Flore and Jessica Hagdorm.

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Sunshower (#08532)