Esperanza Spalding at Oberlin Conservatory

Mar 09, 2011 08:10 PM - 11:00 PM

Esperanza Spalding, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, will perform on Oberlin College’s Artist Recital Series on Wednesday, March 9, at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel. The concert will feature Spalding’s new project, Chamber Music Society, a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. “It is a privilege to welcome Esperanza Spalding to campus and as part of the Artist Recital Series. Her work as a creative artist is extraordinary and she is without question one of the most innovative musicians of her generation,” says Dean of the Conservatory David H. Stull.

Spalding’s recent Grammy win in the mainstream category of Best New Artist signifies her considerable appeal to a broad audience. Her 2008 release, Esperanza, spent over 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and was the most successful internationally selling debut that year. Spalding’s 2010 release, Chamber Music Society, is a brilliant marriage of string and jazz trios, and a showcase for her eclectic sensibilities along with her vocal and compositional talents. In January 2011, Chamber Music Society hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart.

Director of Oberlin’s Division of Jazz Studies Bobby Ferrazza salutes Spalding for her Grammy win and remarked on her musical diversity. “Spalding’s music combines elements of jazz and other contemporary, folk, and world genres mixed with the timeless nature of classical music. Her sound focuses the power and vitality of these varying yet tremendously influential musical styles.”

The 26-year-old prodigy-turned-pro has received accolades from an array of critical media as well. The New York Times raves about bassist, vocalist and composer Spalding: “Esperanza has got a lot: accomplished jazz improvisation, funk, scat singing, Brazilian vernacular rhythm and vocals in English, Portuguese and Spanish;” Rolling Stone declares, “…her talent is undeniable;” and USA Today calls her stylistic blending of genres “a sophisticated fusion of classical music and jazz.”

Spalding is currently on tour with performances scheduled in the U.S., Japan, South Africa and Europe. For more information, visit

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Esperanza Spalding

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