Esperanza Spalding’s ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ defies definition, and explores the intersection of jazz, funk, rock with performance art at the Wisconsin Memorial Union Theater-Shannon Hall.
Story by Steve Braunginn
The Wisconsin Union Theater presents Esperanza Spalding’s visionary stage performance art, ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ (read D plus Evolution), Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 7:30pm! Tickets are available at a variety of prices for students, faculty, Union members and public.
WORT’s Thursday jazz co-host of “Strictly Jazz Sounds,” Steve Braunginn, will feature an interview with Esperanza Spalding on the next show, Thursday, October 27, 2-5pm. “Esperanza is a magical talent who defies any strict definition of her musical and performance talent,” Braunginn remarks. “She describes ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ as performance art, a production that allows the audience to see it from their own perspective stretching the boundaries of jazz.”
Esperanza Spalding’s new project ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ is a fresh artistic vision for the 4-time GRAMMY winner, a daring tapestry of music, vibrant imagery, performance art and stage design. A project of enormous imagination, Esperanza co-produced this worldly cosmic performance that bursts with energy and life, revealing the multitude of talents that have yet to be discovered by this enormously talented 31 year-old performer and faculty member at the Berklee School of Music.
‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ is where we meet Emily–both Esperanza’s middle name and the album label. Co-produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie) and drawing, at times, from wellsprings as disparate as Cream to Shostakovich to St. Vincent, ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ is a kaleidoscopic project; raw, honest, luminous.
Esperanza assembled a new band for ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’, including guitarist Matthew Stevens and drummer Karriem Riggins. She recorded some of the album’s eleven tracks in front of a small audience in a Los Angeles studio. ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ emerged from Esperanza’s journey into herself and observation of the intersection of jazz and other music traditions, resulting in a show that belies any standard description and escapes from being pinned to a musical genre.
“Ms. Spalding is still enamored of Wayne Shorter’s harmonic depth and Stevie Wonder’s melodic lift, but her frame of reference has broadened in salutary ways: ‘Funk Your Fear’ ha(s) the serpentine gnarl of a Funkadelic anthem, and ‘Noble Nobles’ brazenly evoke(s) Hejira-era Joni Mitchell.” — The New York Times
Tickets are available online or you can call the Box Office at 608-265-ARTS (2787). Tickets can also be purchased at the box office in the Wisconsin Union Theater. This performance is presented in collaboration with True Endeavors.