CURRENTLY ON STAGE… ESPERANZA SPALDING

Imagine being requested to perform at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway by the President of the United States, Barack Obama.   Now imagine this is happening to you at the tender age of 25.  I think it’s safe to say your career as a performer is on its way after such an event.  Such is the life of Esperanza Spalding, JAZZ bassist and vocalist extraordinaire.  As of this writing in January of 2013, Esperanza is only 28 years old with no visible limitations ahead of her.  If you’re not familiar with her yet, you’re in for an absolute treat.  If you’re already hip to her greatness, enjoy going through her refreshing repertoire of masterful displays of musicianship and vocal stylings.  Let’s go CURRENTLY ON STAGE… with ESPERANZA SPALDING.

 

President Barack Obama was being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 and he requested Miss Spalding to be one of the musical guests.  I’m sure she didn’t disappoint.  What a gigantic spotlight being shined smack dab on this young artist.  What a tremendous boost to her career by the U.S. President, no less.  Esperanza chose to perform a song called, “Espera,” which is Spanish for “expectations.”  It was quite the appropriate piece because, given her talent, we can expect nothing less than the best from Esperanza Spalding and Barack Obama.  Check out how proud she’s making the President… he looks like he’s thinking… “Yeah, I made the right choice… go ‘head on, sista!”

posted by Todd Brown

In 2008, Jimmy Kimmel introduced Esperanza performing a song from her self-titled debut album.  Well, almost Jimmy.  She did release an album entitled Junjo in 2006 on the Ayva Musica label but she thinks of it as a collaborative Trio effort so Jimmy wasn’t all wrong.  This happens often in the music recording business.  Luther Vandross released 2 albums on Cotillion Records before what most think of as his debut album, Never Too Much, and Peabo Bryson had a great album on the tiny Bullet Records label before signing with Capitol Records and releasing hit after hit.  So let’s roll with Jimmy Kimmel’s description of this poppin’ song from the Esperanza album; this is, “She Got To You.”

posted by HeadsUpRecords

Esperanza was born in Portland, Oregon to an African-American father and mother of Welsh, Native-American and Hispanic descent.  She was raised by her mom and showed signs of greatness very early on.  Yes, she was a child prodigy who was inspired to play the Upright Bass after seeing Cellist, YoYo Ma, perform on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood when she was four years old.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2wlZV6iap4

posted by CreativeCommonsTV

Believe it or not, Miss Spalding taught herself to play violin by age 5 and performed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon until she was 15; she was a Concertmaster by the time she left the organization.  Esperanza also plays the Bass Guitar, as she displays with this bomb diggity JAZZ piece, “I Know You Know.”

posted by sh3zzer

Early on, Esperanza also played Oboe and Clarinet.  While exploring music of many cultures, this gifted dynamo sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  Check her out performing a duet with JAZZ Guitarist, Ricardo Vogt in San Sebastian, Spain.

posted by zaxx2

Esperanza appeared on a morning news show in ’08 and in the brief interview she tells you in her own words a lil’ about her career as a Bassist.  You know, how she chose the Bass at age 15 as her for sure instrument and how she enrolled at Berklee College of Music at age 16.  She played so well at her audition performance, she received a full scholarship to the school.  Check out the brief interview and then enjoy the musical treat that follows.

posted by UltraSharpMusic

2009 was an extremely busy and productive year for Esperanza.  Here’s a clip of her snazzy rendering of Stevie Wonder’s song, “Overjoyed.”  The performance took place at the White House as part of the concert that honored Stevie with the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Songs.

posted by infomisa

This musical genius was hired by Berklee College of Music as soon as she graduated from there, to become one of the youngest Instructors in their history at age 20.  Lest we forget that this young super talent is a virtuoso Instrumentalist, I give you Esperanza as she interprets the Wayne Shorter composition, “Endangered Species,” on the Austin City Limits TV Show.

posted by mistermister660

I’ll leave you with a song Nina Simone carved into a masterpiece in 1959… David Bowie covered in ’67… George Michael put his spin on it in ’99 and Barbara Streisand blessed it with her incredibly velvety voice in 2003.  But it all began back in 1957 when Johnny Mathis recorded this song as the title track for the, “Wild Is The Wind” movie.  And now Esperanza has put her Bow to her Bass and took it to another stratosphere.  I sincerely hope you feel like you’ve gotten to know this master musician, this classy young lady, this jazzy vocalist and phenomenal artist… one Miss Esperanza Spalding… who will be CURRENTLY ON STAGE for quite some time.  Peace!

posted by zaxx2