“There is no doubt about [Esperanza Spalding’s] striking stage presence, versatile feminine voice, expertise on standup and electric basses, and the unusual joy and passion she radiates.” —Variety
Esperanza Spalding, bass/vocals
Nadia Washington, guitar/vocals
Matthew Stevens, guitar
Corey King, trombone/vocals
Karriem Riggins, drums
3-time Grammy Award winning jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding closes out the Soul Jazz Festival, presenting a sneak-peak of new works from her forthcoming project. Packed with the infectious groove and innovative takes on popular songs, Esperanza Spalding's music breaks down the jazz, pop and R&B barriers.
Check out the "Video & Audio" tab above for video of Esperanza Spalding.
This concert is part of the 92Y Soul Jazz Festival, March 14 & 15.
92Y Soul Jazz Festival is underwritten by Gilda and Henry Block, and Kenneth Kolker z”l.
Bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding discovered music as her course in life at the age of 4 when she saw classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Within a year, she had essentially taught herself to play the violin well enough to join The Chamber Music Society of Oregon, a community orchestra for musicians of all ages. By her teens she had also discovered the bass and was playing in local Portland clubs. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and at age 20 she was serving on its faculty.
Ms. Spalding has now become one of the biggest breakout stars in recent years. She has performed with many jazz icons, including pianist Michel Camilo, singer Patti Austin, guitarist Adam Rogers, and saxophonists Donald Harrison and Joe Lovano, and she can be heard on nearly two dozen recordings. She has made four solo CDs, beginning with Junjo in 2006 and Esperanza in 2008, her international debut. In 2011 she became the first jazz musician to win the Grammy Award for best new artist for her Chamber Music Society, which she followed up a year later with Radio Music Society.
Among her numerous awards and honors, Ms. Spalding was invited by President Barack Obama to appear at both the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Last September she released the video, “We Are America,” calling for the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp; joining her are a variety of musicians and friends, including Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder and Janelle Monae. Her website is esperanzaspalding.com.
Nadia Washington has performed and recorded with such artists as Lalah Hathaway and Nicolas Payton, and has played in venues ranging from Blue Note to Carnegie Hall. She is a featured vocalist on Dianne Reeves’ new CD, Beautiful Life, which was released last month, and she played Billie Holiday in the musical Love and Hunger: Tribute to Billie Holliday, featuring special guest Dee Dee Bridgewater.
Guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens has played with such bandleaders as Terri Lyne Carrington, Christian Scott and Dr. Lonnie Smith, and he is a member of the NEXT Collective and ERIMAJ. In addition to new recordings with Walter Smith III and drummer Harvey Mason, he will soon release his debut CD as a leader for Concord Jazz. His website is mattstevensmusic.com.
Corey King leads his own band and co-leads ERIMAJ, a drummer-led band founded by Jamire Williams. As a sideman, he can be heard on jazz drummer Harvey Mason’s CD, Chameleon, which will be released next month, and he joined Esperanza Spalding on her Radio Music Society tour. He has performed with Ludacris on numerous TV appearances.
Karriem Riggins has played with some of jazz’s greatest artists, including Betty Carter, Ray Brown and Mulgrew Miller. He currently performs with Diana Krall while leading his own band and DJ nights, Karriem Riggins’s Juke Joint. Known for producing The Shining for the late J. Dilla, he released his solo debut, Alone Together in 2013 and continues to bridge the gap between the jazz and hip-hop world.