One of the brightest new voices in jazz and of the string bass, Esperanza Spalding, although only 23, clearly has a bright and productive career already underway. Born in Portland in 1984, she began playing the violin when she was 4. She performed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon for 10 years (starting when she was 5). By the time she was 15, she had switched to the bass and to popular music, performing locally, at first with a blues band and then with several groups. Spalding recorded two albums with the fusion group Noise for Pretend for the Hush label. At 16 she was enrolled in the music program at Portland State University and the following year she began attending Berklee. After a semester, she toured with Patti Austin.
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