Young genius of bass to wow audience in Istanbul
US jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding will meet her fans in Istanbul on July 19 after am opening concert to be performed by young female singer Lyambiko.
A perfect night of jazz is waiting for Istanbul concert-goers at the Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theater on July 16, when jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding is taking the stage as part of the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV). Beginning with Lyambiko, a silky voice singing jazz standards and original compositions, the night will continue with Spalding, a young genius of bass.
Hailed by the Boston Globe as “the most promising vocalist jazz has seen in a long, long time,” Lyambiko was awarded the Echo Jazz 2011 Award as the female singer of the year. She will be accompanied in Istanbul by Marque Lowenthal (piano), Robin Draganic (bass), and Heinrich Koebberling (drums).
Concert with 12-piece band
Continuing the feast will be Spalding, one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011, who received the 2011 Grammy for Best New Artist, the first time a jazz musician has ever won the award. She draws upon many genres in her own compositions, and will be performing with her 12-piece band.
Spalding began performing at live in clubs in Portland, Oregon as a teenager, securing her first gig at 15 in a blues club, when she could still play only one line on the bass. One of the seasoned musicians with whom she played that first night invited her to join the band’s rehearsals “so she could actually learn something,” and these rehearsals soon grew into regular performances spanning almost a year.
According to Spalding, it was a chance to stretch herself as a musician, reaching and growing beyond her experience. Her early contact with these “phenomenal resources,” as she calls the musicians who played with her, fostered her sense of rhythm and helped nurture her interest in her instrument. She does not consider herself a musical prodigy. “I am surrounded by prodigies everywhere I go, but because they are a little older than me, or not a female, or not on a major label, they are not acknowledged as such,” she says.
When asked in 2008 why she played the bass instead of some other instrument, Spalding said that it wasn’t a deliberate choice, but that the bass had “its own arc” and resonated with her. Spalding says that for her discovering the bass was like “waking up one day and realizing you’re in love with a co-worker.” By the time she randomly picked up the bass in music class, she had grown bored of other instruments. Her band teacher showed her a blues bass line that she later used to secure her first gig.