ACL Interview: Esperanza Spalding

Friday, 3:30pm, Barton Springs stage

ACL Interview: Esperanza Spalding

Austin's musical mojo permeates throughout the bulk of bassist Esperanza Spalding's two most recent works, 2010's Chamber Music Society and March's Radio Music Society. It was at the piano in her Travis Heights home that the 2009 transplant wrote both albums.

"I feel very comfortable there," reveals the 27-year-old Portland, Ore., native from the road. "I like walking out of my house and going to the park. You can get groceries easily. The whole vibe. I felt I could do good work there."

Spalding's work, a dynamic and fresh take on bass and voice that's pushing jazz into the next generation, has largely kept her out of the capital city. Yet with her fourth LP, Radio Music Society, the Berklee-educated Spalding, who took home the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, cut a disc that gives jazz an accessible face, reeling in such eclectic voices as hip-hop rapper/producer Q-Tip.

"The music I'm most aware of comes from jazz, so I've used that, but I've incorporated music and players I think are really enjoyable and fun to share.

"That's all mixed up into this cake, but you don't have to know what's in it. You just have to know if you like it. Once you know, we can talk about the flavors. You can say, 'What did you put in this?' And I can say, 'It's this.' Then you can go and use it in your cooking.

"I want to expose more people to this spice, so I've wrapped it in this great big cake."

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Esperanza Spalding
ACL Live Shot: Esperanza Spalding
Esperanza Spalding
Zilker Park, Oct. 12

Chase Hoffberger, Oct. 19, 2012

ACL Music Fest Friday Reviews
Esperanza Spalding
Radio Music Society (Record Review)

Melanie Haupt, Oct. 12, 2012

More by Chase Hoffberger
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Revisiting the Railroad Killer
Local journo Alex Hannaford’s Dead Man Talking podcast investigates the case against a man on death row

Nov. 16, 2018

EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
EMS Union Set for Leadership Contest
Association to cast ballot between incumbent Tony Marquardt or challenger Selena Xie

Nov. 16, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Esperanza Spalding

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle