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Vancouver's Jazz Fest Weekend Hosts Esperanza Spalding

Posted: Jun. 27th, 2013  |  By Michael Pearse
Esperanza Spalding
Mark van Manen/PNG

Pouring her heart and soul into her music alongside her 12-member Radio Music Society for a performance that easily topped the weekend event, Esperanza Spalding made waves in the Jazz community of Vancouver. Other singers put forward a wonderful performance, but few could compete with the passion and style she put forward in a performance worthy of remembrance.

The Vogue stage design looked ready to host a play Sunday night, what with the giant cardboard radio taking up half the floor. Composer/bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding brought her 12-member Radio Music Society onto the stage, and the prop wasn’t the only theatrical device.

Poised and self-assured, Spalding gave a show that was like spinning a radio dial: Some jazz improvisation followed by a pop tune (Stevie Wonder’s I Can’t Help It), some talk-radio spoken word, even some Dr. Phil love therapy.

Spalding’s program was like a concept album, kind of a jazzy Sgt. Pepper’s. She sang beautifully, and played electric and upright bass with precision. Great concept, greater talent.

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