Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Youtube button

Archive for May, 2012

Esperanza returns to Austin

Esperanza Spalding live at Hogg Auditorium, April 2010, Austin TxEsperanza Spalding live at Hogg Auditorium, April 2010, Austin TxEsperanza Spalding live at Hogg Auditorium, April 2010, Austin Tx

Grammy award winner Esperanza Spalding performed at the Paramount Theater this past Friday.  Esperanza is exquisite in every way, she is nothing short of a musical genius, her manner of speaking boarders on charming and endearingly goofy, and her presence is magnetic and expansive.

Esperanza Spalding live at Hogg Auditorium, April 2010, Austin TxShe prefaces the performance by saying, “This is the part we usually give a disclaimer about how we’re not playing traditional jazz, but we’re not going to do that tonight, we’re just going to rock it from the get and let y’all work it out for yourselves later.”  Indeed, some people might have to work it out as she does not fit easily into any single genre or tradition.  Esperanza so effortlessly synthesizes such diverse musical currents that her music completely transcends categorization.

After the third or fourth song, Esperanza pauses to take off her shoes as she explains, “No matter where in the world, what language, what culture, when the shoes come off, you know it’s time to get down.”  And get down, she did.

In addition to debuting several new pieces to an enraptured crowd, she also performed a riveting arrangement of Dorival Caymmi’s piece “O Bem do Mar.”  She prefaced the piece by explaining how it is about being torn between two places, in this case, a sailor being torn between the goodness of the sea and the goodness of the earth.

Esperanza’s playing and songwriting are magnificent, and her musical sensibility is far more sophisticated than her age would indicate.  I can’t wait to see how she evolves over the years to come.  I will be sure to see her anytime the opportunity presents itself and encourage all of you to do the same.  Now that she lives in Austin, I hope I don’t have to wait long…

Esperanza Spalding live at Hogg Auditorium, April 2010, Austin Tx

Here is a video of Esperanza performing at the White House Poetry Jam on May 12, 2009

Esperanza Spalding Performs at the White House Poetry Jam from The White House on Vimeo.

Written and photographed by Laura Lea Nalle, all rights reserved.