Buzz is great for Esperanza Spalding in Raleigh this Friday (3/5); online ticket sales are at their highest, says Arts NC State marketing director Mark Tulbert. Spalding was so busy, she didn't have time to do advance interviews for the local press. But does she really have to? The 25-year-old has played Barack Obama's White House three times already. At age 20, the Portland native became the youngest ever instructor at Berklee, her alma mater, where she had earned a full scholarship at age 16. Crazy.
Yes, she is crazy gorgeous, and crazy talented. I tried to suss out her Hispanic heritage, if any, to go with the name and Spanish/Brazilian vocals. Her mother has some Hispanic background, but according to the Wiki gods, she learned Spanish from a Cuban nanny. The way she sings and plays bass in an interlocking, polyrhythmic groove definitely feels Latin to me, at times, as Latin as the Stevie Wonder tunes she covers. (Some of my earliest exposure to Latin music was through Stevie Wonder. If you get what I mean, you get what I mean.)
Photo by Johann Sauty
There are still some tickets left, in the reasonable price grade of $24. Of her 3 dates in NC, Asheville got snowed out; Kinston is on for tonight. Hope comes to the Stewart Theatre this Friday.
Pre-Concert Talk with bassist John Brown, head of Duke's Jazz Program, at 6:45 pm, Walnut Room, also in the Talley Student Center.
WHAT: Esperanza Spalding
WHERE: Stewart Theatre, Talley Student Center, NCSU (Raleigh)
WHEN: Friday (3/5), 8 pm
Concert Website: http://ncsu.edu/centerstage/currentseason/esperanza.html
Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=365830668898&ref=nf