Oct 4, 2013
01:15 PMArts & Entertainment
In Perfect Harmony
While everyone else debates whether jazz is dead or not, three generations of extraordinary women of jazz find common ground and prove that the genre is still very much alive. On Oct. 5, ACS—Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding—take the stage in a highly anticipated performance at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Arts.
In 2011, Esperanza Spalding won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist (over Justin Bieber and rapper Drake), and she also gained the distinction of being the first jazz musician to win the prize, ever. It appears she had been preparing for that fateful moment since she was 4—when she decided music was her calling. The jazz bassist/singer/songwriter credits cellist YoYoMa as her inspiration, after watching him perform on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” She says, “It was definitely the thing that hipped me to the whole idea of music as a creative pursuit.” Spalding began as a classical violinist with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. She moved on to the upright bass and bass guitar in her teens in order to focus on jazz and other modern genres. But her bass playing isn't all that blows audiences away—her voice, too, is a mesmerizing instrument.
That same year, Spalding was asked to be part of drummer Teri Lyne Carrington’s (played with Wayne Shorter and Carlos Santana and was also part of the “posse” on the “Arsenio Hall Show”) all-female band for an album she was producing called, The Mosaic Project. The great pianist Geri Allen and prominent female jazz artists of the last few decades Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sheila E., Nona Hendryx, Cassandra Wilson, and a dozen more musicians of different musical backgrounds, ages and sensibilities had also signed on. In 2012, the album won Carrington her first Grammy Award for Best Jazz Album.
Now Allen, Carrington and Spalding have formed ACS (using their last initials) and hit the road and the explosive multi-generational, multi-style trio has been tearing up stages all over the country with a fusion of sound.
Tickets $30-$55; For tickets and further information, call 203/254-4010 or visit quickcenter.com.In Perfect Harmony