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Jazz Phenom Esperanza Spalding Bringing Intimate Set to Jazz In The Gardens

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – GRAMMY Award-winning jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding is shaking the world right now with the release of Emily’s D+Evolution (pronounced “D plus evolution”), a complete multi-sensory experience that enraptures the listener in the capricious and captivating world of “Emily,” Spalding’s self-declared inner child, but in an interview with Florida National News, she revealed that she is bringing a slimmed-down, more intimate experience when she performs at the 12th annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival.

Spalding took the world by storm with her innovative style in 2006 with her first album, Junjo, and hasn’t slowed down since. She has performed with such legends as Herbie Hancock and the late great Prince, and has graced stages for the Oscars, the White House, and the Nobel Prize Ceremony. Five solo and seven collaborative albums later, she’s presenting the world with a journey unlike any she has done before with Emily’s D+Evolution. She masterfully wears the “triple threat” moniker for this album, incorporating complex instrumentality with soulful yet equally playful vocals and vivid theatricality onstage. She has partnered with stage director and playwright Will Wiegler for the theatrical elements.

However, for this year’s Jazz In The Gardens, she has decided to pare down. “[We] will be a jazz trio, singing, playing, and improvising,” she said in a phone interview with FNN News. “I won’t be bringing a whole world to Miami.”

On the point of improvising, Spalding clarified on a common misconception: It is not as fluid and free as some may think. “Improvisation is very highly structured. It’s like a play…You have to know where you’re going to go and who’s who in the story,” she explained. “For example, a song may have an orangey sound, or it may be melancholic, or it may be high-energy–everyone has to adhere to the structure, but [they can] explore within the pre-fabricated structure.”

While Spalding may not be bringing Emily’s world to Miami, she says, the experience won’t be much different. The jazz trio will still weave attendees into ecstasy with its creative storytelling. “Everybody has a chance to make up elements of the story in real time,” Spalding said. “[Each person is] soloing together to bring life to the story.”

Spalding performs on Sunday, March 19, 2017. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


Mellissa Thomas is Editor of Florida National News. You can reach her on Twitter @FnnSocial or

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