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April 25th, 2012 CASEY JARMAN | Music Stories
 

Mic Check: Esperanza Spalding

music.box.esperanza-spalding_3825ESPERANZA SPALDING - IMAGE: Johann Sauty
Esperanza Spalding is a popular woman. The bassist/singer/composer will tour at least 10 countries this summer after wrapping up the lengthy U.S. trip that brings her back to her hometown of Portland this week. The honey-voiced prodigy is probably used to the craziness by now: Last year’s Grammy win may have landed her in the mainstream consciousness, but Spalding’s profile in the jazz world has been growing for years. It’s easy to hear why: Her March-released fourth full-length album, Radio Music Society, is an impressive and self-produced album that meets jazz heads and nu-soul die-hards on common ground. Spalding is so busy that she eschewed traditional interviews on this tour for an exhaustive conference call with press from around the country. So of course we listened in for words of wisdom.

Esperanza Spalding: “Once we get to be, like, 15, we start to forget what everybody did for us. You start to think you did it all yourself. That’s when you start resisting your parents. You forget they used to wipe your butt and feed you and pick you up when you cried and rock you to sleep. And that can happen in music, too. We forget all of the factors that have allowed us to flourish. And it’s more than just like a day job. You get your paycheck for the time you put in, you know, and maybe you feel a sense of security from having work. But in music it’s like this other satisfaction, too, that comes—and it’s so profound it penetrates so many aspects of your being. I really think, you know, that feeling is thanks to other people.”


SEE IT: Esperanza Spalding plays the Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. on Wednesday, April 25. 8 pm. $35. All ages.

 
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