Aged five, she was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon in her hometown of Portland.By the time she exited the group at 15 as a concertmaster, she was composing and playing acoustic bass professionally with local bands.ES: She’s figuring out how we do things here, so her way of getting dressed is reaching out to the left from the spontaneous and intuitive, and reaching out to the right for the intentional and the highfalutin.She is also a very grounding force that can still the flailing and the spinning that we all experience between what we’re feeling, and what we’re supposed to be knowing, or supposed to be doing, and what we want, and what our guts are telling us; what we’re actually experiencing versus how we should be experiencing something.I’m more like an element that will be around in different forms forever.” Spalding's current tour is a retrospective of sorts, but let’s not call it that. Quite the contrary: When she speaks of the widening spiral, what she seems to hint at is that after this tour ends, she’ll be spinning in an entirely different direction — a direction that includes a new character she’s calling Emily.“It’s a word I don’t want to use because that sounds silly. “I had a dream the day before my birthday, where I heard 10 sketches, and I saw this character and I realized it was me,” she says.And two years later a follow-up album, 'Esperanza’, came out and her fortunes took a sharp upward turn.
The first thing one notices about Spalding (besides her oversized bass and her beauty) is her massive afro.
At 20 she was hired to teach at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, just after graduating from there.
In 2006 a tiny label released her debut album, 'Junjo’, an exhilarating hybrid of jazz and Latin rhythms.
A bandstand-levitating bassist, Spalding has performed everywhere from the Oscars to the White House, cementing her place as a top-rate jazz star for the 21st century.
Though her career appeared to be going from strength to strength, a couple of years ago, she decided to take a step back.
COMPARING THE creative trajectories of jazz singer-bassist Esperanza Spalding and pop star Justin Bieber would appear slightly odd to most.