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LIVE REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily's D+Evolution at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts

Read "Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily's D+Evolution at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily's D+Evolution Tilles Center for the Performing Arts Brookville, NY April 10, 2016 Esperanza Spalding doesn't want anybody to fence her in. She's never said it so bluntly, but she doesn't have to: Her music says it for her. During a seventy-five minute staging of Emily's D+Evolution (Concord, 2016) at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, Spalding managed to wed the primitive, the progressive, and the poetic ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Emily’s D+Evolution

Read "Emily’s D+Evolution" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding has moved effortlessly between genres whether performing with saxophone great Wayne Shorter or releasing projects which have incorporated explorations in chamber and pop music. She's impressed fans with her beautiful vocals and expressive instrumental skills even though questions remain about her musical identity. Is she jazz, pop, or a fringe artist who won't be locked into any genre? The answer to that question has no bearing on Spalding's talent and creativity which ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Buffalo, NY, April 18, 2012

Read "Esperanza Spalding: Buffalo, NY, April 18, 2012" reviewed by Kelly E Schultz

Esperanza Spalding Radio Music SocietyUniversity of Buffalo Center for The Arts/ Esperanza SpauldingBuffalo, NYApril 18, 2012It's always a good day when jazz comes to Buffalo, NY. It's a great day when a Grammy Award-winning jazz artist performs for an intimate crowd at University at Buffalo's Center of the Performing Arts.Esperanza Spalding, Grammy's 2011 Best New Artist (much to the chagrin of Justin Beiber fans), kicked off her Radio Music Society tour earlier this ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Radio Music Society

Read "Radio Music Society" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

If there's to be an unofficial ambassador for contemporary jazz then Esperanza Spalding could fit the bill nicely. The young bassist, singer, and composer brings a fresh exuberance marked by prodigious talent; honoring those who have paved the way, yet seeking to pursue her own path. Whether receiving the 2011 Grammy for “Best New Artist" or shining bright at the 2012 Academy Awards , in an unusual yet memorable performance, she's riding a wave of deserved recognition. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Radio Music Society

Read "Radio Music Society" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

When you've been invited to perform for the President of the United States, turned heads as the bass-playing beauty in the Academy Awards house band, toured with Prince and beat out teen dream Justin Bieber for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, you're having a very good run in the spotlight--and it could turn your head. From time-to-time an artist gets dubbed as the new saviour of jazz. Usually this title is handed out by publications with ...

INTERVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: The Intimate Balance

Read "Esperanza Spalding: The Intimate Balance" reviewed by Esther Berlanga-Ryan

To celebrate Esperanza Spalding's Grammy award win as “Best New Artist," we're rerunning this September 2010 interview. Enjoy!Fans of classical music and jazz have argued about music for years. If Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Duke Ellington had ever met, they may have looked at each other in awe--right before debating about bars and notes and solos... and, perhaps, the music would have been flowing just as easy as words. The time when classically trained musicians looked down on ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society at Knight Theater

Read "Esperanza Spalding Chamber Music Society at Knight Theater" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Esperanza SpaldingKnight TheaterCharlotte, North CarolinaSeptember 24, 2010Having had little exposure to Esperanza Spalding's music, some questions were answered by her visit to the Knight Theater on September 24th. Part of Charlotte's two-day Sunset Jazz Festival, it was the prodigy-turned jazz phenom's first appearance in the city. The concert dovetailed with Chamber Music Society (Heads Up International, 2010), the young singer/bassist's third release, and with more than three quarters of the 1150 seats filled, the venue ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society

Read "Chamber Music Society" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

The jazz world hasn't been the same ever since the twenty-something Esperanza Spalding--the Oregon-born, Texas-based bassist/singer/composer/educator--burst on the scene at the change of the century. Her story as a self-taught, home schooled prodigy who graduated from Berklee and became that institution's youngest instructor; who gigged with everybody from Patti Austin and Pat Metheny to Joe Lovano; and who released two critically-acclaimed CDs as a leader (the last one stayed on the Billboard jazz charts for seventy weeks), is already the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Chamber Music Society

Read "Chamber Music Society" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

On the opening track of her much-lauded, self-titled major label debut, Esperanza (Heads Up, 2008 ), bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding covered Milton Nascimento's timeless gem, “Ponta de Areia." Rather than covering another of the singer/composer's tunes on Chamber Music Society, Spalding recruits Nascimento to perform on her own “Apple Blossoms." It's but one example of a highly intriguing set that blends her classical training with jazz, pop and soul tendencies.This might seem to be a risky endeavor, but not ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Shooting Star: Esperanza Spalding in Paris

Read "Shooting Star: Esperanza Spalding in Paris" reviewed by David Miller

Esperanza SpaldingNew MorningParis, FranceNovember 24, 2009 The heavy drumbeat pierced the air, and the sellout crowd, believing the show to have started, slowly put down their drinks and turned to face the stage. It took some longer than others, but soon all realized that Esperanza Spalding, she whose name was on the bill for the evening, had yet to grace the stage. As it turned out, her band was giving her an introduction by way ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding Live at Central Park Summerstage

Read "Esperanza Spalding Live at Central Park Summerstage" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Esperanza Spalding Central Park Summerstage New York, New York June 28, 2009

The Oregon-born bassist and vocalist seems to have found her voice as an entertainer. At least comparing what we saw last Sunday with her performances at the Jazz Standard earlier this year, one could notice that Spalding has developed a fully-fledged stage persona that in turn helped elevate her music to much greater heights.

Casually dressed in jeans and a tan ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Esperanza Spalding: Esperanza

Read "Esperanza" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

From a guest appearance on Stanley Clarke's The Toys of Men (Heads Up, 2007) to her self-titled debut, Esperanza Spalding is turning heads, and opening lots of ears. After an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, the host called the 23-year-old vocalist/bassist/composer “the coolest guest" he'd ever had. Spalding is indeed cool, having enrolled at Berklee College of Music at 16, and ultimately becoming the institution's youngest professor in its history. She landed gigs with Patti ...