This woman I’ve been talking about (and listening to) damn near daily since I first heard her Music, roughly 2 1/2 years ago. She’s an unbelievable Bass player, singer and the youngest person to ever teach at Berklee College of Music (I’m going to take classes there if it kills me!).
She recently won the Grammy for Best New Artist which made a whole lot of Bass players and Music lovers happy, while at the same time pissing off some Music fans that felt “their” artist should have won (sorry folks, I thought it was a no-brainer). Some folks were pissed off to the point where…well, no sense in repeating the foolishness that took place on the various social networks.
Oh yeah, her name: Esperanza Spalding.
Shortly after the Grammy win, she came to Japan to perform at Blue Note Tokyo. I caught her very last show and loved every minute of it. Myself and my favorite Flamenco dancer (aka Lady J.) sat 2 tables away from the stage (about 2 meters or 9 feet). I had a goofy, Kool-Aid smile on my face the whole time. Esperanza on Bass (and vocals)..Terri Lynn Carrington on drums..one of the best rhythm sections ever – not one of the best female rhythm section but best, period. Leo Genovese on piano, 2 violins, 1 viola, and backup singer…man, that show was perfect.
Here’s a video of Esperanza talking briefly about playing as child and how the critics actually help her to stay true to herself and do what she loves.