Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding to perform free concert at UAB

Spalding is set to perform at 7:30 p.m. April 15, in a free show as part of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Civil Rights Commemorative Series.

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Grammy Award-winning jazz singer, bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding will perform live in a free show Monday, April 15, 2013, at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC).

Spalding is set to take the stage at 7:30 p.m. in the Jemison Concert Hall at the ASC, 1200 10th Ave. South.  The concert is open to the public. Call 205-975-2787 for information.

This performance is presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Music and the College of Arts and Sciences. It is part of the College of Arts and Sciences Civil Rights Commemorative Series and the UAB and City of Birmingham partnership, 50 Years Forward, the ongoing 50th anniversary commemoration of the seminal events of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement. Learn more about 50 Years Forward at www.uab.edu/50yearsforward. For a complete listing of UAB College of Arts and Sciences commemorative events, visit www.uab.edu/civilrights.

In 2011, Spalding won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. This year, Spalding’s 2012 album “Radio Music Society” won the Grammy award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist. Listeners who heard her stunning 2008 debut, “Esperanza,” and her best-selling 2010 release “Chamber Music Society,” knew the young bassist, vocalist and composer from Portland, Ore., was the real deal. Her unique and genre-spanning presence is deeply rooted in jazz but speaks to listeners far beyond the jazz realm. “Radio Music Society” is a sort of companion to her previous release, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart. “Radio Song,” the new disc’s opening track, sets the tone and reveals Spalding’s “radio music” metaphor. 

“Everyone has the experience of turning on a car radio, mindlessly flipping through the dial, and suddenly a fragment grabs you and you’re totally digging it. I wanted to capture that moment when the music just sinks in. It’s about the power of song, and how at the least it can save the day,” Spalding wrote in a press release about the album. “I’ve tried to put together a program of music that speaks to the non-jazz listener, but can still provide a viable foundation for my jazz heroes to express themselves. Hopefully, people can enjoy all the elements of my music without being told which genres it is ‘supposedly’ a blend of. Everyone is invited to listen with no pre-conceived notions. It’s a journey. Think and feel for yourself. But, most importantly, enjoy.”

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