From the White House to our house

10/27/2009 - By: Kathie Taylor

Tickets are available now for the rising star of the jazz world Esperanza Spalding’s appearance at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Performing Art Series. The bassist/vocalist/composer takes the stage 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4 at Nightingale Concert Hall on the University campus. The 24-year-old performer rocked the White House twice in 2009, and has appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” as well as maintaining a dizzying concert calendar.

Home-schooled for many of her elementary-school years, Spalding enrolled in Boston’s Berklee School of Music after receiving scholarships at the age of 16. At 20, she became its youngest faculty member. She has toured and recorded with such greats as Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and Joe Lovano; and has released two of her own CDs, self-produced “Junjo” in 2006, and “Esperanza,” released by Heads Up International in 2008.

“Esperanza Spalding is the quintessential modern musician,” Peter Epstein, assistant professor and director of jazz and improvisational music at the University, said. “She is ascending at an incredible rate and has achieved a level of success most people would love to achieve over any length of time in their career. People can work for 50 years and never get to teach at Berklee.”

Epstein said the University jazz department seeks to break down boundaries between genres, something Spalding excels at in her performances. The multilingual performer composes and arranges new-edge and old-school favorites alike, expanding commonly held perceptions about jazz. She will showcase her methods during a master class at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 4 in the University’s Church Fine Arts building, room 112.

“We are really fortunate to have someone like her perform here,” Epstein said. “Her notoriety and visibility are backed up by incredible artistry, depth of creativity and technical skill. She is a virtuoso performer, fully and freely improvising with her voice and her bass at the same time, with no simplification.”

The Performing Arts Series attracts world-class performers annually. Funding is provided in part by the University of Nevada, Reno School of the Arts and Extended Studies; the Associated Students of the University of Nevada; the Nevada Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; the City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission; Western States Arts Federation; For the Love of Jazz; the Fulton Fund and Sierra Arts.

For tickets and information about Esperanza Spalding, please visit the Performing Arts Series website, Lawlor Events Center or the Church Fine Arts box office one hour prior to the show.


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