BEST NEW ARTIST
GRAMMY Award Winner 2011
Esperanza Spalding is here to stay. Bassist, singer and composer, she began playing in small jazz and blues venues around her hometown of Portland, Oregon. A Berklee College of Music Graduate and Instructor, Spalding has worked with such notable artists as Michel Camilo, Dave Samuels, Regina Carter, the Boston Pops Orchestra, Pat Metheny, and Terri Lyn Carrington and Patti Austin, and recently toured Mexico with Joe Lovano. She is the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.
At only 21 years of age, she's most similar to what is known as a "total musician." In addition to singing and playing the bass, she is a composer and does all of her own arrangements. She also arranges her own versions of works of important contemporary composers. In JUNJO, the first musical production under the direction of this American artist, Esperanza gives her touchs to pieces that range from the modern jazz trio to contemporary Brazilian music, to Argentine folk music. For her, this project is a dream come true. It is as a same time, her first CD as well as the first production under her direction.
The trio is completed with the artistry of two excellent musicians, pianist Aruán Ortiz and drummer Francisco Mela. JUNJO has Esperanza's personal seal: the superb sense of time that she possesses and always succeeds in communicating to her audiences, and her great devotion to the instrument she plays.
01. The Peacock (J.Rowles)
02. Loro (E.Gismonti)
03. Humpty Dumpty (C.Corea)
04. Mompouana (A.Ortiz)
05. Perazuán (E.Spalding-A.Ortiz)
06. Junjo (E.Spalding)
07. Cantora de Yala (G.Leguizamón-M.Castilla)
08. Two Bad (E.Spalding)
09. Perzaela (E.Spalding-F.Mela)
Recorded by Peter Kontrimas in April 6 & 7, 2005
at PBS Studios, Westwood, Massachussets.
"Ace of Bass."
- Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent, April 22, 2005
"That charmingly girlish enthusiasm, equal parts bubbly and hip, is something you don't see much of in jazz. One more reason that Spalding is a performer to watch."
- Bill Beuttler, Globe Correspondent, October 25, 2005
"She communicates her upbeat personality in everything she plays. She is definitely headed for a great career, and it will be soon."
- Gary Burton, multiple Grammy winning vibraphonist
"Esperanza Spalding is a wonderful young bassist."
- Joe Lovano, Grammy Award winning saxophonist, Downbeat Magazine's Tenor Player of the Year
"All of the instrumentation pales behind lead singer Esperanza Spalding's absolutely gorgeous vocals"
- Delusions of Adequacy review
"Her singing is supremely suave and perfectly controlled."
- Willamette Week
"I've had the pleasure of listening to Esperanza at a recent performance. I was struck by the maturity with which she sang. Her delivery was flawless, and her ability to play bass and sing at the same time simply blew my mind."
- Walter Beasley, Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist and producer
"She is simply the most promising musician I've come across in recent years. Such maturity and musicality would have been impressive enough had she been in her thirties, but she's barely twenty."
- Alain Mallet, pianist of the Paul Simon Band & Phil Woods Quintet
"Esperanza Spalding transports the old-school diligence to the new-school flavor. She radiates artistry and possesses the same certain "it" factor that you see in the time-honored legends. She's not only promising, she's delivering - with a musical articulation rarely ever seen. Not to mention the sparkling personality, poise, and professionalism.
"She's got staying power. Her students will learn a great deal about how one should interact in the music industry by her sheer example. Esperanza is the REAL DEAL, even when she's not playing a single note."
- Darcie-Nicole Wicknick, Founder "...Ask Darcie" Music Business Consulting, Velvet Stylus, Freelance Journalist, and Co-Founder of the Boston Hip-Hop Alliance