Esperanza Spalding

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Since her early years to her current success as a creative musician, Esperanza Spalding has charted her own course. The young bassist/vocalist/composer was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, garnering Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy® Awards. This is unprecedented by a jazz musician, and Spalding continues to make the unprecedented her norm. Spalding always strives to innovate her music, and has already reached numerous developments in her professional career.

Her journey as a solo artist began with the 2006 release of Junjo, featuring pianist Aruán Ortiz and drummer Francisco Mela. She presented the various sides of her writing on Esperanza, her 2008 international debut recording, quickly topping Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart and becoming that year’s best selling jazz album worldwide. Numerous awards and appearances followed, including an invitation by President Barack Obama to appear at both the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, performing at the 84th Academy Awards, and an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman that found Letterman and bandleader Paul Shaffer proclaiming the young musician as the “coolest” guest in the program’s three-decade history.

Her experimental sketches continued with Chamber Music Society in 2010, joined by keyboardist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Quintino Cinalli, vocalists including legendary Milton Nascimento, and a string trio arranged by Gil Goldstein and Spalding. The album was another instant chart topper and gained multiple awards, earning her the Grammy® for Best New Artist in 2011.

Maintaining her lifelong passion for new sounds and uncharted territory, the versatile Spalding has collaborated with musicians and artists from different styles and genres, including Wayne Shorter, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Corinne Bailey Mae, Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monáe.

Her latest recording, Radio Music Society, includes a mosaic array of musicians; jazz legends Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart; hip-hop giant Q-Tip, Algebra Blessett, Lalah Hathaway, Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke; Portland mentors Janice Scroggins and Thara Memory, as well as the horn section of Memory’s American Music Program ensemble. Spalding hopes this album can serve as a window for the musicians whom she loves and admires to reach the mainstream audience, as what they manifest “bring good into the lives of the people who hear them.”

Radio Music Society is another unprecedented chapter in the Esperanza Spalding story, as she continues on her journey of new musical horizons.

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*Radio Music Society Trailer
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Esperanza Spalding at the Nobel Prize Ceremony
Esperanza Spalding at the Oscars
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REVIEWS

To call Ms. Spalding the most talked-about jazz musician in a generation seems almost like an understatement, and beside the point: She’s a phenomenon in human form.
The New York Times

An artist who harbors no qualms about following wherever her muse leads.
Billboard

Esperanza Spalding has quickly demonstrated that she’s an artist of great beauty, grace, and daring…she’s become one of the most exciting artists on the music scene.
DownBeat

To watch Esperanza Spalding perform live is to watch magic in motion.
Time Out Hong Kong

There’s no doubt about her striking stage presence, versatile feminine voice, expertise on standup and electric basses, and the unusual joy and passion she radiates.
Variety

Needless to say, any genre-based view of jazz as something that should be hemmed in by any stylistic rules does not apply in her world.
LA Times