The American Music Prize for Best Debut Album (“The AMP”) is proud to confirm Kamasi Washington as the winner of the inaugural prize for his album, The Epic.

As the grand prizewinner, Washington will receive a $25,000 cash prize in addition to garnering industry-wide attention. In celebration of the inaugural award, a special presentation with Washington and The AMP founder Scott B. Murphy will take place this evening in Nashville, TN.

Of the acknowledgement, Washington comments, “I’m so honored to win best debut album for the very first American Music Prize! I poured my heart and soul into my album The Epic and I’m so thankful for all the love that I’ve received in return. The celebration of music, art, and creativity is so important and to be recognized as such a central part of that celebration is very humbling. I’m so full with excitement and truly inspired for what the future holds! So thank you to the judges, all my fans, loves ones, my amazing team, and the musicians who continue to push and create with me!”

Murphy adds, “I applaud the judging team—it’s no easy job sifting through hundreds of albums to extract a Shortlist and then, from that Shortlist of 12 truly great albums, choose a winner! This they have done and The Epic is a deserving choice, well done Kamasi and thank you judges!”

All U.S. debut albums released between August 1, 2014 and July 31, 2015 were eligible for The AMP. Complete details can be found at:

The AMP judging panel: Nathan Brackett (Rolling Stone), Rand Foster (Fingerprints), David Fricke (Rolling Stone), David Greenwald (The Oregonian), Dennis Herring (producer), Jewly Hight (freelance journalist), Mel Honore (Cerebral Ballzy), Britt Julious (freelance journalist), Daniel Kohn (PureVolume, managing editor), Kristin Kurtis (KGSR), Eric Levin (Criminal Records), Steve Lillywhite (producer), Melissa Locker (freelance journalist), Josh Madell (Other Music), Pat McGuire (FLOOD magazine) Sean Moeller (Daytrotter), Matt Nathanson, Robert Neumann (KHMX), Dan Plunkett (End Of An Ear), Michael Ramirez (Radio Active Records), David Safar (KCMP The Current), Craig Shelburne (MusicRow), Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), Amanda Warner (MNDR) and Bob Waugh (WRNR).

Friends of The AMP include: Craig Averill (Serling Rooks Ferrara McKoy & Worob), Gillian R. Bar, Esq. (Carroll, Guido & Groffman, LLP), David Bason (Hundred Handed), Alex Black (Warner Bros Records), Jennie Boddy (The Fun Star), Paul Brown (Red Hat 22),  Joe Calitri (Red Bull Records), Jeff Castelaz (Elektra), Jonathan Daniel (Crush Management), Charlie Feldman (BMI), Deb Fenstermacher (Red Light Management), John Fleckenstein (Sony Music), Christian Fresco (Pearl Jam), Tom Gates (Nettwerk), Piero Giramonti (Harvest Records), Richard Grabel (Davis Shapiro Lewit Grabel Leven Granderson & Blake), Kate Hyman (BMG Chrysalis), Andrew Jackson (Milton Archer / Deckstar Management), Justin Kalifowitz (Downtown Music Publishing), Janine Kerr (FOX Sports Music), Rell Lafargue (Reservoir Media), Kate Landau (Red Light Management), Michael McDonald (Mick Management), Wade Metzler (SoundExchange, Inc), Loretta Muñoz (ASCAP), Reen Nalli (The Groove Merchants), Jaclyn Ranere (The Orchard), Jeff Sosnow (Warner Bros Records), Robert Stevenson (Republic/Universal), Don VanCleave (DVC MGMT), Karen Wiessen (Autonomic Media), Craig Winkler (Grand Jury Music).

For more information, please contact Asha Goodman 615.320.7753, Mary Moyer 212.741.1000 or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000.

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