“A Night for Freedom” intimate concert featuring ESPERANZA SPALDING to benefit FREE THE SLAVES - with Bobby McFerrin and Gretchen Parlato and more! - 12/4

Tuesday, December 04 2012 6:00pm Doors / 8:00pm Start
Tue Dec 04 2012

“A Night for Freedom” intimate concert featuring ESPERANZA SPALDING to benefit FREE THE SLAVES - with Bobby McFerrin and Gretchen Parlato and more! - 12/4

at City Winery New York City




Join Grammy Award winning bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding to benefit Free the Slaves. Esperanza will be performing a full set and the evening will also feature special guests including Bobby McFerrin and Gretchen Parlato.

VIP is limited to 50 people, includes meet and greet wine tasting with Esperanza before the show from 7-8.  

Includes VIP seating and a bottle of signed Esperanza Spalding wine.

“This intimate concert with Esperanza is meant to shine a light on the issue of slavery and highlight Free the Slaves’ work ending slavery around the world,” says Sarah Gardner of Free the Slaves. “As this year marks the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we want to alert the public that the job is not done – there are still millions enslaved around the globe, and we need everyone's help in bringing slavery to an end once and for all. Free the Slaves is grateful to Esperanza and her team for dedicating her time and voice to this critical problem. And, even more importantly, we are thankful she is sending the message that there is hope – we can end slavery if we work together and listen to the needs of survivors and let them lead our efforts.”

Spalding says, “We come together to celebrate the power of freedom with an eclectic night of music from around the world. I so admire the work that Free the Slaves is doing to abolish slavery – in particular, their philosophy of breaking the cycle of slavery. With their help, former slaves have access to local education and become empowered to create change in their communities and find sustainable freedom.  In turn, they can then pass along life saving information to future generations and others still affected by slavery. I'm SO excited and grateful to be able to use my music to bring people together for this very worthy cause."

Free the Slaves is an international human rights non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating slavery and human trafficking worldwide. A pioneer of the modern anti-slavery movement, Free the Slaves was formed in 2000 in response to Kevin Bales’ groundbreaking book, Disposable People, which documented an estimated 27 million men, women and children enslaved in the world. Today, Free the Slaves operates in 600 communities in six countries (India, Nepal, Ghana, DR Congo, Haiti and Brazil) as well as in the U.S. and at the international level. Free the Slaves has more than 10 years of experience in addressing the root causes of slavery through liberation; partnerships with grassroots organizations; community organizing and sustainable rights-based development. Free the Slaves also conducts cutting-edge research, targeted advocacy and public awareness-raising campaigns. For more information, visit: freetheslaves.net




From the beginning of her life to her current success as a creative musician, Esperanza Spalding has charted her own course. The young bassist/vocalist/composer was one of the biggest breakout stars of 2011—not just in jazz, but in all genres of music. Her receipt of the 2011 GRAMMY® for Best New Artist was unprecedented—the first time a jazz musician had won the award— but Spalding continues to make the unprecedented the norm.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Spalding grew up in a single-parent home and learned early lessons in the meaning of perseverance and moral character from the role model whom she holds in the highest regard to this day – her mother.

But even with a rock-solid role model, school did not come easy to Spalding, although not for any lack of intellectual acumen. However, the one pursuit that made sense to Spalding from a very early age was music.  She had essentially taught herself to play the violin well enough to land a spot in The Chamber Music Society of Oregon, a community orchestra that was open to both children and adult musicians. She stayed with the group for ten years, and by age 15, she had been elevated to a concertmaster position.

Berklee College of Music was the place where the pieces all came together and doors started opening. After a move to the opposite coast and three years of accelerated study, she not only earned a B.M., but also signed on as an instructor in 2005 at the age of 20 – an appointment that has made her one of the youngest faculty members in the history of the college. She was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

Spalding has gone through several phases, which have been well documented during her brief recording career.  Her journey as a solo artist began with the 2006 release of Junjo, on the Spanish label Ayva Music, which featured pianist Aruán Ortiz and drummer Francisco Mela. She presented the many different sides of her writing on Esperanza, her 2008 international debut recording for Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group, which quickly topped Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Chart and became the year’s best selling album worldwide by a new jazz artist.  Numerous awards and appearances followed, including an invitation by President Barack Obama to appear at both the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, and an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman that found Letterman and bandleader Paul Shaffer proclaiming the young musician the “coolest” guest in the three-decade history of the program.

“The objective of Esperanza was to show many sides of my musical personality,” Spalding explains; “but I also imagined that my next records would be built around a more concrete project-concept.”  What followed, Chamber Music Society from 2010 and her newly released Radio Music Society, made it clear that her initial triumphs were just the beginning.

Returning to her ever-expanding book of musical sketches, “taking my notes and organizing them into something coherent,” Spalding began with Chamber Music Society, the 2010 release on which the bassist was joined by longtime colleagues Leo Genovese (keyboards) and Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), plus percussionist Quintino Cinalli, vocalists (including the legendary Milton Nascimento) and a string trio (arranged by Gil Goldstein and Spalding).  The disc was another instant chart topper and gained multiple awards, none more imposing than the Best New Artist GRAMMY®.

Spalding’s latest release, Radio Music Society, expands the cast to include, among many others, jazz legends Lovano, Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart; hip-hop giant Q-Tip, Algebra Blessett, Lalah Hathaway, Gretchen Parlato and Lionel Loueke, among an array of notable vocalists; and Portland mentors Scroggins and Memory, as well as the horn section of Memory’s American Music Program ensemble. “I’ve had the honor and blessing of working with so many phenomenal jazz musicians over the years,” Spalding explains, “As I’ve gotten to know them and their music, I’ve grown to love them as family and colleagues. I wished for an opportunity for us all to interpret songs together, so that they can be heard and received by a larger audience. All my personal heroes who are revered in the jazz world – like Joe Lovano and Terri Lyne Carrington – should be heard by a mainstream audience, because what they manifest in their music is so beautiful, sincere and uplifting. I think they literally bring good into the lives of the people who hear them”.