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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.
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NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Esperanza Spalding, guest blogger, This post has been updated and corrected, see below.
I finally read all of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter From Birmingham Jail" this spring while I was on tour for my album "Radio Music Society. " At about the same time, the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay detention center hit the headlines. Soon, scores of men were being force-fed. The more I learned about what was going on at Guantanamo, the more I realized that the truths King expressed in his famous letter were back in our faces: "Justice too long delayed is justice denied. " I vowed to do something.
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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
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 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.
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.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Esperanza Spalding, guest blogger, This post has been updated and corrected, see below.
I finally read all of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter From Birmingham Jail" this spring while I was on tour for my album "Radio Music Society. " At about the same time, the hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay detention center hit the headlines. Soon, scores of men were being force-fed. The more I learned about what was going on at Guantanamo, the more I realized that the truths King expressed in his famous letter were back in our faces: "Justice too long delayed is justice denied. " I vowed to do something.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
Though this year's Grammy nominations in jazz are without any Earth-rippling surprises à la last year's new-artist breakthrough by Esperanza Spalding, L.A.-born singer-songwriter Gretchen Parlato could've been considered a solid bet to follow in her footsteps if ours was the sort of world where lightning could strike twice. Though Parlato's 2011 album, "The Lost and Found," was overlooked by the Recording Academy, it was a fixture on many best-of lists at the end of the year, including Rhapsody's inaugural Jazz Critics' Poll (formerly hosted at the Village Voice)
ENTERTAINMENT
June 7, 2012 | By Chris Barton
Just where does an up-and-coming jazz talent go after covering the Red Hot Chili Peppers? While that's a reductive way to introduce a talent as promising as Linda Oh -- who turned in a deft reworking of "Soul to Squeeze" on her album "Entry" -- the bassist-composer follows up her promising debut with "Initial Here," which provides further proof that Esperanza Spalding is not the only female bassist-bandleader worthy of acclaim. Oh was born in Malaysia and raised in Australia before moving to New York five years ago. Backed by a roster of top-tier New York City talent that includes keyboardist Fabian Almazan, drummer Rudy Royston and saxophonist Dayna Stephens, Oh looks to her diverse background for inspiration.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2013 | By Reed Johnson
If Luciana Souza wins two Grammy Awards on Sunday, will her acceptance speeches be in English, in Portuguese or both? This year, the Brazilian-born, L.A.-based chanteuse has managed the highly unusual feat of being nominated for singing in two languages, on two different records. Souza's "The Book of Chet," an homage to West Coast Cool Jazz idol Chet Baker, recorded in English, is a contender for the jazz vocal record Grammy. The category's other nominees are Denise Donatelli's "Soul Shadows"; Kurt Elling's "1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project"; "Live," by Al Jarreau (and The Metropole Orkest)
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
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.
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 20, 2012 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
Though this year's Grammy nominations in jazz are without any Earth-rippling surprises à la last year's new-artist breakthrough by Esperanza Spalding, L.A.-born singer-songwriter Gretchen Parlato could've been considered a solid bet to follow in her footsteps if ours was the sort of world where lightning could strike twice. Though Parlato's 2011 album, "The Lost and Found," was overlooked by the Recording Academy, it was a fixture on many best-of lists at the end of the year, including Rhapsody's inaugural Jazz Critics' Poll (formerly hosted at the Village Voice)
ENTERTAINMENT
February 10, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Can the biggest Grammy news in jazz come from outside of its own category? While the 55th Grammy Awards stuck to something of a familiar script with some of its honorees, jazz pianist Robert Glasper made the biggest headlines by taking home a surprise win in the R&B category, besting albums by R. Kelly, Anthony Hamilton, Tamia and Tyrese. Backed by his band the Experiment, Glasper freely drew from multiple genres outside of jazz on the Grammy-winning "Black Radio," which featured guest turns from Erykah Badu, King and Lupe Fiasco.
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.
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