Spalding Reinterprets Jazz


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23-year-old bassist/vocalist who appeals to young and old coming to area

According to some pundits, jazz music is in a constant state of emergency.

Many of the music's legends are slowly shuffling off this mortal coil and some of the music's most vocal advocates and highest-profile players often treat jazz as a museum piece, as if nothing interesting or noteworthy happened after the hard bop of the 1960s, or when Miles Davis plugged his trumpet into a wah-wah pedal.

But as those purists try to nail jazz into a creative coffin, there are a batch of young artists whose music is rooted in jazz but who also grew up on pop, rock and other forms of popular music. They are artists who don't separate ”real music” from pop music, players for whom George Clinton is on an equal musical plane as John Coltrane.

One such player, bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, embodies the young, 21st-century jazz player. The Portland, Ore.-born 23-year-old, who will be performing at Nighttown in Cleveland Heights Wednesday night, has already made a name for herself among jazz musicians young and old.

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