Esperanza Spalding VideosJuly 31, 2009
One of the most successful and talented jazz musicians to come from Portland in the past few years is bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding.
Spalding has been attracting quite a bit of national attention including a recent White House performance for the president and first lady.Â She’s also on faculty at the Berklee School of Music in Boston (her alma mater) where she was hired as the youngest faculty member in the school’s history.
Before she left for Berklee, Esperanza was a bright young star on the Portland scene.Â Trumpeter and educator Thara Memory played a large part in her musical upbringing and jazz training and eventually pushed her to go to Berklee to continue her education.
Recently, Portland has seen Esperanza return for the Portland Jazz Festival, Darrell Grant’s CD Release performance for “Truth and Reconciliation,” as well as the CD release party for her first album in her own name.
My memories of Esperanza stretch back about 10 years when we were both students attending similar sessions.Â I remember her as a student at the Mel Brown Jazz Workshop during it’s first couple of years at Western Oregon University.Â Also, I remember attending mini-workshops at saxophonist Phil Hatton’s house, where he would coach her, myself, and another classmate of mine on piano through playing standards.
Check out videos (including the White House performance) of some of her recent performances below.
- John Nastos
Check out this other JazzPDX post about the Mel Brown Jazz Workshop for clips of Esperanza playing bass at the camp as a teenager.
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