“Esperanza” is the Spanish word for hope. And aptly-named bassist, vocalist, and composer Esperanza Spalding might well be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music.
The 25-year-old prodigy-turned-pro combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the musical accessibility of a pop star. Classically trained, she’s blessed with uncanny instrumental chops, a multi-lingual voice that is part angel and part siren, and an almost hypnotic natural beauty.
Esperanza, Spalding’s 2008 release, spent over 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and was that year’s most successful internationally selling debut. Also to her credit: two White House appearances, a Banana Republic ad campaign, numerous awards, and many high-profile tour dates capped by an invitation to perform at the 2010 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway.
She’ll bring her latest project, Chamber Music Society, to Grinnell’s Herrick Chapel in September. This modern chamber music group combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements that bring elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical music.
Tickets will be available for this performance beginning December 3 at noon.