FSU's Cultural Events Series Presents Esperanza Spalding Quartet

Jazz enthusiasts are in for a treat when jazz vocalist, bassist and composer Esperanza Spalding performs with the Esperanza Spalding Quartet at Windsor Hall on Sunday, Feb. 8, as part of Frostburg State University's Cultural Events Series Jazz Club Sponsored by Kauffman Music. Patrons have the option of a 5 p.m. Supper Club or 6:30 p.m. concert only.

Blessed with tremendous talent, a multi-lingual voice that been described as "part angel and part siren" and a natural beauty, Spalding might be the hope for the future of jazz and instrumental music. While singing and playing the bass interchangeably, she adds a kind of interpretive dance to the mix, making her performances memorable and fresh, while introducing jazz to younger audiences. Critic Ed Morales describes Spalding's music as "a sprawling collage of jazz fusion, Brazilian and even a touch of hip-hop."

Born and raised in Portland, Ore., in a single-parent household, Spalding was inspired by her mother, who wore many hats as a baker, carpenter, food-service and foster-care provider and a labor organizer for Caesar Chavez. While Spalding credits her mother as a powerful influence who encouraged her music, she attributes her inspiration for pursuing a career in music to watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of "Mister Roger's Neighborhood" when she was four years old. By the time she was five, Spalding had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, made up of musicians of all ages. She stayed until she was 15 and left as concertmaster.

Home-schooled as a child due to a lengthy illness, Spalding obtained her GED and continued her education by enrolling in Portland State University's music program at age 16. Ultimately, this led to her enrollment in the Berklee School of Music, which opened many doors for her. Almost immediately upon graduation at age 20, she became one of the youngest people to join the faculty at the Berklee School as an instructor. In 2005, she received the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

Spalding has recorded two albums: "Junjo" ( 2006 ) and "Esperanza" ( 2008 ). Her music may be heard on her Web site,

The Esperanza Spalding Quartet performance begins at 6:30 p.m. Concertgoers may also elect to purchase a Supper Club ticket, which entitles them to dinner plus a concert. The combination of music, food and atmosphere makes this a very special event. The Supper Club option provides the ticket holder with a special table with preferred seating for the performance and a choice of a specially designed meal from Kozy Kettle featuring one of two entrees—eggplant parmesan or chicken and beef marsala. The Supper Club begins at 5 p.m.

The Esperanza Spalding Quartet concert is graciously supported by Tri State Hand and Occupational Therapy Inc. The CES Jazz Club is sponsored in part by the Allegany Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council. The Cultural Events Series is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to non-profit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland.

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