Esperanza Spalding in
Chamber Music Society USA Fall Tour
WHEN: Saturday, October 15, at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Wilkins Theatre, Kean University, 1000 Morris Avenue, Union
TICKETS: $35 standard, $20 seniors & students, and can be purchased by calling Kean Stage Box Office at 908.737.SHOW (7469), online at www.keanstage.com , or in person at Kean University’s Wilkins Theater Box Office
This year’s Grammy® Award winner for “Best New Artist,” Spalding will mesmerize audiences by deftly blending classical and jazz to create modern chamber music with touches of folk and world sounds as well.
“Esperanza” is the Spanish word for “hope,” and bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name. Blessed with uncanny instrumental ability, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.
After teaching herself to play the violin at age four, Spalding landed a spot on The Chamber Music Society of Oregon, where she played for 10 years, being elevated to concertmaster at age 15. By then, she had also discovered the bass, and all of the non-classical avenues that the instrument could open for her. Before long she was playing blues, funk, hip-hop and a variety of other styles on the local club circuit.
At 16, Spalding left high school, and—armed with her GED and aided by a generous scholarship—enrolled in the music program at Portland State University. But it was at Berklee College of Music where, after three years of accelerated study, she not only earned a B.M., but also signed on as an instructor in 2005 at the age of 20—an appointment that has made her the youngest faculty member in the history of the college.
Spalding’s journey as a solo artist began with the May 2008 release of Esperanza, her debut recording, which went on to become the best selling album by a new jazz artist internationally that year. The highly acclaimed release was the first opportunity for a worldwide audience to witness her talents as an instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. Soon after release, Esperanza went to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart where it remained for over 70 weeks.
If Esperanza marked a brilliant beginning for this gifted young artist, then Spalding’s August 2010 release, Chamber Music Society, sets her on an upward trajectory to prominence. Inspired by the classical training of her younger years, Spalding has created a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical chamber music traditions. Chamber Music Society finds Esperanza with a diverse assembly of musicians: pianist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Quintino Cinalli, guitarist Ricardo Vogt, and vocalists Gretchen Parlato and the legendary Milton Nascimento. The string trio is comprised of violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin and cellist David Eggar.