Esperanza Spalding
Artist
Born in 1984 and raised on what she herself calls “the other side of the way”, a multilingual home and neighbourhood of Portland, Oregon, Spalding’s solo career began on May 2008 with the release of ESPERANZA, her debut album for Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, an album that will end up being the 2008 worldwide most sold for a new jazz artist. That release, unanimously welcomed, made possible for the audience of whole planet to discover the fascinating talent of Spalding as instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. The New York Times spared no praise: “Spalding offers a lot: a competent jazz impromptu performance, a bit of funk, vernacular Brazilian rhythms and lyrics sung in English, Spanish and Portuguese. And all that around a counter bass player, singer and leader of an unquestionable talent.” Esperanza hasn’t stopped performing around Europe and the US, she also travelled to Japan to perform in the Blue Note Club of Tokyo, and to South Africa, where she performed at the Jazz Festival in Cape Town, among other places around the world. Furthermore, she has combined live performances with appearances in the best Late Night Shows in the US, including David Letterman and Jay Leno. On February 13th 2011, in LA, Esperanza received one of the most prestigious prizes of the music industry, the Grammy Award for best new artist. As she said later on: “I am very surprised and also thankful for receiving this award.” It was a very special day for her, since she had earlier co-hosted the Grammy Awards pre-telecast together with Bobby McFerrin and also performed in the ceremony alongside the jazz ensemble of the Gala.

Albums

Junjo

Listen / Buy the album

Esperanza Spalding is here to stay. Bassist, singer and composer, she began playing in small jazz and blues venues around her hometown of Portland, Oregon. A Berklee College of Music Graduate and Instructor, Spalding has worked with such notable artists as Michel Camilo, Dave Samuels, Regina Carter, the Boston Pops Orchestra, Pat Metheny, and Terri Lyn Carrington and Patti Austin, and recently toured Mexico with Joe Lovano. She is the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

At only 21 years of age, she’s most similar to what is known as a “total musician.” In addition to singing and playing the bass, she is a composer and does all of her own arrangements. She also arranges her own versions of works of important contemporary composers. In JUNJO, the first musical production under the direction of this American artist, Esperanza gives her touchs to pieces that range from the modern jazz trio to contemporary Brazilian music, to Argentine folk music. For her, this project is a dream come true. It is as a same time, her first CD as well as the first production under her direction. The trio is completed with the artistry of two excellent musicians, pianist Aruán Ortiz and drummer Francisco Mela. JUNJO has Esperanza’s personal seal: the superb sense of time that she possesses and always succeeds in communicating to her audiences, and her great devotion to the instrument she plays.

Recorded in April 6& 7, 2005 by Peter Kontrimas, PBS Studios, Westwood, MA.

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