Esperanza Spalding
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Esperanza Spalding @ Celebrate Brooklyn

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Jazz experimentalist Esperanza Spalding captivated the crowd gathered in Prospect Park on June 12th for the park’s free concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn. The Berklee-trained, Grammy award winning artist a theatrical, intriguing and slightly strange stage presence that, along with her unique hard-jazz sound makes her an irresistible performer. In the fairly short set, Spalding transformed from dressing and reciting a monologue from the perspective of a bar tender, to doing the same as an elevator operator, to playing a song with a film of a conveyor belt making pens screen behind her. The theatricality of her, and her band’s movements, were intense, matching the heaviness of the synth and sound effected jazz she was performing. Her sound is difficult to describe; it is a sort of hard fusion of jazz, funk and rock, comparable to artists such as Cory Henry and Snarky Puppy. Spalding is ridiculously talented. She went from playing bass to playing piano to acting, all while giving our ears the pleasure of hearing her pure, clear voice. Seeing her live is like no other concert. She is beautiful and badass, which matches her incredible sonic experience.

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