Philippine Music: Jazz Phenom Esperanza Spalding Going To Wow The Philippines
Esperanza Spalding plays the bass, and not just like an electric bass guitar, but an upright bass and the double bass. Most women, and even men, shy away from the huge double bass because it’s simply too big to lug around. Of course, she didn’t always start out with the bass. At first, she played violin and learned wind instruments like the oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass in high school. For her the discovery of the bass was like, “waking up one day and realizing you’re in love with a co-worker.” She sang and performed with an indie rock/pop group Noise for Pretend before she got into Portland State University on a music scholarship program, and then being encouraged by teachers to audition for no less than the Berklee College of Music.
Life was tough for her at the beginning due to the financial challenge that comes with living away from home. Things were even made more difficult since she had to carry her bass two miles to a train station just to get to school. At some point, she was broke, exhausted and just wanted to give up, but the jazz guitarist and composer Pat Metheny discouraged her and told her that she had the “X factor.”
Soon enough, things turned for the better for Esperanza Spalding, who toured as a bassist for the likes of Patti Austin, Joe Lovano, and even got a teaching stint at the Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest professors in the school’s history.
She has two albums under her name, Junjo (2006) and Esperanza (2008).
Esperanza Spalding is the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. She has performed at The White House, on Jimmy Kimmel Live and at The Tonight Show with David Letterman in order to promote her album and wow audiences with her amazing gift of voice and bass, and its wonderful fusion.
Enough of me giving her praise, just check her out for yourself in the video below, or better yet get tickets to catch Esperanza Spalding live at the Sunset Pavilion of the Hotel Sofitel on August 15, 2009.
After the Manila performance, she will be back touring the United States at Chicago, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Monterey and even as far up north of the US as Anhcorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. The rest of her tour will be in the United States with only Manila, Philippines as a special out-of-the-way stop for one-night only!