Esperanza Spalding, aside from having an amazing afro, is a jazz musician from Portland, Oregon, and my latest girl-crush. While she’s reached some exposure in the jazz world (and beyond), I still think that she is sorely under-exposed.
More about her, via her official website:
If “esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope, then bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding could not have been given a more fitting name at birth. Blessed with uncanny instrumental chops, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and a natural beauty that borders on the hypnotic, the 25-year-old prodigy-turned-pro might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.
I have recently had the pleasure of seeing Esperanza Spalding perform – and she is amazing. Absolutely amazing. This talented bassist (although she plays other instruments too) is only twenty-five (!) and has performed for the likes of President Barack Obama at his Nobel Prize Ceremony.
Even though I went to her concert at the Byham Theater kind of tired – it had been a long day, alright?? – I was captivated by her soulful performance and the sheer passion she exuded. Every note seemed to light her on fire and the radiant smile on her face was a testament to how much she loved music. Even when she paused her playing, she would close her eyes and hum along to her band, the Chamber Music Society. And while she writes her own music, it amazed me how she was able to play intricate musical compositions while singing along. Take it from a former piano player: that is NOT easy. I became an instant fan.
If you have any music you’d like me to check out, leave me a comment or send me an email! (Contact info in the about me page)