Esperanza Spalding’s signature instrument is the timeless and unaffected bass—an apt emblem for an artist whose concept of engagement centers less on the zeitgeist of social media and more on considered conversations and uninhibited creative expression. Since winning a Grammy for Best New Artist in 2011, Spalding has evolved this dialogue to incorporate acting, staging and directing, which, together, extend beyond entertainment to stir our collective capacity for constructive change. How has music’s place in your life changed over the years? This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Music Issue 44 Sigrid Scandipop's fresh face on stagecraft and The Sims. Music Issue 43 Brendan Yates The Turnstile frontman on hardcore's sweet side. Music Issue 43 Cat Power Musician Chan Marshall opens the door to a different dimension. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Last Night What did Planningtorock do with their evening? Music Issue 42 Dev Hynes The boundless potential of being a master of none. Music Issue 41 Jon Batiste The band leader on his genre-busting year.