Esperanza Spalding, the first jazz musician to ever win the Best New Artist GRAMMY® Award, will be opening tour dates for Prince on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7, 2011. The acclaimed bassist/singer/composer’s performances are part of Prince’s residency-style “Welcome 2 America” tour, which includes a 21-date stand in Los Angeles that began on April 14 at the Forum.
Spalding’s band for both dates features keyboardist Raymond Angry, saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist Jef Lee Johnson and drummer Terri Lynne Carrington.
Since December, Prince has played residency-style concert series in the New York area, North and South Carolina, and Oakland, California. Many of the shows have featured guest appearances and a series of stellar opening acts, including Spalding, Cee-Lo Green, Janelle Monae, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings and others.
Spalding combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the musical accessibility of a pop star and within two years of her solo debut has beguiled success at nearly unimaginable heights. Esperanza, her 2008 release, spent over 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and was the most successful internationally selling debut that year.
Chamber Music Society, Spalding’s most recent release, is a brilliant marriage of string and jazz trio, and a showcase for her eclectic sensibilities along with her vocal and compositional talents. Chamber Music Society spent ten weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums charts, and currently sits at No. 2.
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