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Esperanza Spalding

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ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2011
MUSIC The jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding was this year's unexpected Grammy winner for new artist and shocked lots of odds-makers with the triumph of her technically precise but modern and accessible playing. She's got a pop star's charisma though and looks to be drawing a crossover audience. The Orpheum, 842 S. Broadway Ave., L.A. 8 p.m. Fri. $27.50-$60. laorpheum.com.
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ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Chris Barton
A selection of jazz picks heading into the weekend: Buster Williams at the Jazz Bakery at REDCAT A deeply melodic bassist and bandleader who performed with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Buster Williams performs with his Something More quartet, an all-star lineup that includes pianist Eric Reed, multi-reedist Bennie Maupin and drummer Cindy Blackman, who in addition to her many credits also performed in Jack Bruce's Tony Williams-inspired "Spectrum...
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 25, 2012
MUSIC Unfortunately on the cusp of being considered less of an individual artist and more of an avatar for an entire genre since her headline-grabbing win at the 2011 Grammys, Esperanza Spalding shifts the focus back to her unique vision with a concert from the much-anticipated follow-up, "Radio Music Society. " Those who pinned their hopes on Spalding as the savior of jazz may alter their expectations based on the album, which merges jazz with liberal helpings of funk, pop and R&B with guests that include vocalist Algebra Blesset.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014 | By Chris Barton
Can a jazz guitarist grow up idolizing Stevie Ray Vaughan? That may be a question for the purists in considering “Golden Age,” the debut album from Nir Felder, who took up guitar at age 13 and still plays the $250 Stratocaster he bought with the blues-rock legend in mind. Potential future covers of Kenny Burrell's “Chitlins Con Carne” aside, Felder is after more subtle, yet no less electric pleasures than his idol with a swift, lyrical flow sharpened in stints backing Greg Osby, Jack DeJohnette and Esperanza Spalding.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Grammy-winning bassist and bandleader Esperanza Spalding can add TV host to her resume with the announcement that she will be hosting a new weekly music show on Magic Johnson's new Aspire network. Spalding joins actor Laurence Fishburne and comic Jonathan Slocumb on the network's roster for a series called "Groundbreaking," which will feature weekly programming dedicated to movies, comedy and music. Spalding's first episode of "Groundbreaking Music" airs Friday at 8 p.m. with "Earth Wind and Fire Live," and future specials will highlight performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dorothy Dandridge.  One of the best known jazz artists working today as a result of a surprise best new artist win at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Spalding has appeared in a number of high-profile settings including a date performing at the White House and a stirring performance at this year's Oscars . Spalding's 2012 follow-up to her Grammy win, "Radio Music Society," went to No. 1 on the contemporary jazz charts for several weeks.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 2010 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
If you really want to hear Esperanza Spalding get excited talking about jazz, ask her about its effect on 5-year-olds. Speaking by phone from her home in Portland, Ore., the effervescent young bassist's conversational tempo shifts into another gear as she talks about leading a jazz workshop at an elementary school. Working with pianist and band mate Leo Genovese, Spalding introduced free improvisation to the kids as a musical twist on Cops and Robbers. Spalding promised to follow Genovese's lead, and that the kids should clap when she caught him. "So Leo will play a phrase and maybe it's really crazy and I can't follow him and I'll go 'Awww.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By Chris Barton
A selection of jazz picks heading into the weekend: Buster Williams at the Jazz Bakery at REDCAT A deeply melodic bassist and bandleader who performed with the Modern Jazz Quartet, Buster Williams performs with his Something More quartet, an all-star lineup that includes pianist Eric Reed, multi-reedist Bennie Maupin and drummer Cindy Blackman, who in addition to her many credits also performed in Jack Bruce's Tony Williams-inspired "Spectrum...
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2014 | By Chris Barton
When Esperanza Spalding was named best new artist at the 2011 Grammys, not even the most ardent jazz fan dared believe this would usher in a new era for a marginalized genre long left out of the major award categories. Still, there was hope. Beyond the pop cultural footprint generated by Spalding's memorable coif, numerous high-profile performances and cover-ready good looks, there were acres of talent. FOR THE RECORD: Grammy jazz categories: An article about the Grammy Awards' jazz categories in the Jan. 19 Arts & Books section gave 1930s singer-trumpeter Valaida Snow's last name as Smith.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2011 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
She was the least well known and the lowest-selling artist in the group. But that didn't stop Esperanza Spalding, a 26-year-old jazz vocalist and bassist who combines old-school cool with an ebullient personality that has energized her genre, from winning the Grammy Award for best new artist in one of the night's biggest surprises. Spalding was a decided underdog in an eclectic field of competitors that included the teen pop idol and newly minted movie star Justin Bieber, hip-hop artist Drake, British indie pop-rockers Florence and the Machine and English folk rockers Mumford & Sons.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 26, 2011 | By August Brown
It would be quite a stretch to watch Peter Stormare's turn as the demonically silent henchman Gaear Grimsrud in "Fargo" and think, "This is a man moved to tears by the music of Billie Holiday. " But the man who pushed Steve Buscemi into a wood chipper in the Coen brothers' classic knew he wanted to be an artist after being cut to the bone by Lady Day's music and life story. "I grew up in a snowy Swedish town, and when I heard her music and read 'Lady Sings the Blues,' I couldn't fathom her life," he said, driving through downtown Los Angeles en route to a video shoot for a collaboration between Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5. "Her story was a dagger.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 2014 | By Chris Barton
When Esperanza Spalding was named best new artist at the 2011 Grammys, not even the most ardent jazz fan dared believe this would usher in a new era for a marginalized genre long left out of the major award categories. Still, there was hope. Beyond the pop cultural footprint generated by Spalding's memorable coif, numerous high-profile performances and cover-ready good looks, there were acres of talent. FOR THE RECORD: Grammy jazz categories: An article about the Grammy Awards' jazz categories in the Jan. 19 Arts & Books section gave 1930s singer-trumpeter Valaida Snow's last name as Smith.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By David Ng
Carnegie Hall's opening night gala -- an annual highlight of the New York cultural calendar -- has been canceled at the last minute because of a strike by the organization's stagehands. The Wednesday evening concert was to feature the Philadelphia Orchestra led by conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, with appearances by violinist Joshua Bell and jazz musician Esperanza Spalding. The labor strike stems from a disagreement over stagehands' jurisdiction over Carnegie Hall's education wing, which is scheduled to open next year.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 6, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
The lively and entertaining documentary "The Girls in the Band" sheds long overdue light on the many unsung female jazz instrumentalists of the 1930s and 1940s. Director Judy Chaikin, who co-wrote the film with its deft editor, Edward Osei-Gyimah, infuses this fine portrait with grace, nostalgia and a well-calibrated dose of social commentary. A close-up on Art Kane's iconic 1958 photograph "A Great Day in Harlem," which featured a cascade of top jazz artists - only three of whom were women (including pianists Mary Lou Williams and Marian McPartland)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2013 | By Chris Barton
With Los Angeles steadily filling with music royalty for this weekend's Grammy Awards and the many parties and performances in its orbit, Wayne Shorter led a show that served as a celebration of its own at Disney Hall on Saturday night. Featuring the same quartet behind Shorter's justly lauded new live album "Without a Net" (his first recording for Blue Note Records in 43 years), the show partly felt like a curtain call for a man who's become the biggest story in jazz this year.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Grammy-winning bassist and bandleader Esperanza Spalding can add TV host to her resume with the announcement that she will be hosting a new weekly music show on Magic Johnson's new Aspire network. Spalding joins actor Laurence Fishburne and comic Jonathan Slocumb on the network's roster for a series called "Groundbreaking," which will feature weekly programming dedicated to movies, comedy and music. Spalding's first episode of "Groundbreaking Music" airs Friday at 8 p.m. with "Earth Wind and Fire Live," and future specials will highlight performances by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dorothy Dandridge.  One of the best known jazz artists working today as a result of a surprise best new artist win at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Spalding has appeared in a number of high-profile settings including a date performing at the White House and a stirring performance at this year's Oscars . Spalding's 2012 follow-up to her Grammy win, "Radio Music Society," went to No. 1 on the contemporary jazz charts for several weeks.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2012 | By Chris Barton
This post has been corrected. Please see note at the bottom for details. Going into Wednesday night's show at the Hollywood Bowl with Anita Baker and Esperanza Spalding, it was hard not to wonder if a more interesting (and surely bolder) bill could have developed if only the headliner and opener were reversed. The headliner, Anita Baker, is one of the key artists associated with the "quiet storm" sound, a smooth, down-tempo varietal of late-night R&B that became a radio format with artists such as Sade and the late Luther Vandross in the '80s.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2011
COMEDY Love Bites: A Banned Erotica Showcase Jerry Stahl, Leslie Schott, La Cholita and many other writers and burlesque performers read from a bodice-ripping catalog of once-outlawed sexy fiction. "The Story of O," "Tropic of Cancer," "Lolita" and others get their most eyebrow-raising passages highlighted. The Comedy Store, 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. 7 p.m. $10. http://www.thecomedystore.com. MUSIC Esperanza Spalding The jazz bassist and vocalist was this year's unexpected Grammy winner for new artist and shocked lots of odds-makers with the triumph of her technically precise but modern and accessible playing.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2011 | By Geoff Boucher, Los Angeles Times
Pop provocateurs Lady Gaga and Eminem may have brought more compelling career stories to the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, but on a shocking night the big trophies went home Sunday with Southern trio Lady Antebellum and Montreal indie-rock band Arcade Fire. Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now," a harmony hit of closing-time yearning, was named record and song of the year (the former is for best overall track; the latter is specifically for song writing), while the best album honors went to Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs," the third studio album from the seven-member band led by the married couple Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2012 | By Irene Lacher
Jazz bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding made a news splash when she beat out pop phenom Justin Bieber for the new artist trophy at the 53rd Grammy Awards last year. Spalding, 27, and her Radio Music Society ensemble come to Southern California this month for an Aug. 21 performance at San Diego's Humphreys Concerts by the Bay and an Aug. 22 double bill with Anita Baker at the Hollywood Bowl. How did your Grammy change your life? Did it change your life? Everything I do is pretty much the same as it was; we tour like we used to. But the venues are bigger.
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