Esperanza SpaldingEsperanza Spalding continues to challenge expectations and classifications—particularly her own.

Esperanza SpaldingEsperanza Spalding continues to challenge expectations and classifications—particularly her own.

"I’m putting myself in positions where I have to collaborate so that I can discover more about the true collaborative process."

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?

I don’t feel anymore that music is this thing that I have to practice and be good at so that people can tell I’m good, so that I can play with better musicians and continue to “advance” and grow and improvise and blah. This is life. Th...

ISSUE 52

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