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Revive Da Live: Put Your Horns Up

Esperanza Spalding

Last November at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village, bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding could be heard freestyling with an unlikely collaborator: Jeru the Damaja, one of the best underground rappers of the ’90s. The occasion? A late-night event produced by Revive Da Live, which promotes cross-genre encounters in order to spur creativity and get top musicians in front of different, hopefully larger audiences. Since launching in 2006, Revive has presented over 20 shows along these lines, facilitating the birth of a kind of roving artist collective. Pianist Robert Glasper and drummer Chris Dave, no mere dabblers in hip-hop, are among those intimately involved.

Meghan Stabile, 26, a singer, guitarist and Berklee alum, founded Revive after immersing herself in the youthful Boston jazz scene, mainly at Wally’s Jazz Café. “I didn’t grow up listening to jazz,” Stabile recalls. “One night [trumpeter] Igmar Thomas played with his band, and I was just completely floored by this music. I thought, ‘Why is this not out there more? Why am I just finding this now?’ What also got me was the fact that jazz musicians create the most beautiful, complex form of music, and they’re so underappreciated and underpaid. I wanted to do something about it.”

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