What makes music “beautiful”?

While we wrestle with the metaphysical aspects of this question, in practical terms, one answer is “Esperanza Spalding”.  The bassist, vocalist, and composer recently released her second album: Chamber Music Society, a follow up to her well-received 2008 debut, Esperanza.

Photo Credit: Sandrine Lee

Where Esperanza melded jazz, funk, and latin rhythms with vocals in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, Chamber Music Society combines a string trio and jazz group with stunning results.  Sophisticated string arrangements, transcendent vocals, smart compositions, and virtuoso playing produce a gorgeous mix of tracks for her sophomore effort.  Listen to the performance of “Little Fly” below for a taste.

Just 25, Spalding speaks (and plays) with well-deserved confidence:

We all want to hear sincerity and originality in music, and anyone can recognize and appreciate when love and truth are transmitted through art. No matter what else has or hasn’t been achieved on this recording, those things are definitely a part of this music. Those are the things I really want to deliver.

And deliver she does.  If you are lucky enough to live in one of the US cities below, drop what you are doing and buy some tickets.  After these dates, she’s off to Europe.  You can see the full schedule and purchase tickets here.

10/02/10 – Cambridge, MA Sanders Theater, Harvard University
10/03/10 – Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
10/07/10 – Santa Monica, CA Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, The Broad Stage
10/08/10 – San Luis Obispo, CA The Alex and Faye Spanos Theater
10/10/10 – San Francisco, CA Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
10/11/10  – Arcata, CA Kate Buchanan Hall

02 OCT 2010
Sanders Theater
Cambridge, Massachusetts
03 OCT 2010
Lincoln Theatre
Washington, District of Columbia
07 OCT 2010
Santa Monica, California
08 OCT 2010
Spanos Theatre
San Luis Obispo, California
10 OCT 2010
San Francisco, California
11 OCT 2010
Kate Buchanan Hall
Arcata, California

Join Esperanza’s Chamber Music Society to get a free mp3 download of “Short and Sweet“.