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New York - GRAMMY Camp - SoundChecks with GRAMMY winner Esperanza Spalding - GRAMMY U members only
April 21st (New York, NY)- This weekend at Webster Hall, the New York Chapter of GRAMMY U had the opportunity to take place in a SoundCheck with GRAMMY Award-winning artist Esperanza Spalding on her Radio Music Society tour. As students were led into the venue, they had the opportunity to become truly immersed in the GRAMMY Camp SoundCheck process, watching as members of Esperanza’s cast and crew setup the stage from scratch. GRAMMY U members had the chance to get an understanding of microphone choice for specific instruments as crew called out specific requests, as well as the process of checking each instrument is in great shape for the sound system. Perhaps most fascinating was that this was a rare opportunity for GRAMMY U members to participate during the “live mixing” process, and understanding the challenges of “tuning” Webster Hall without the 1000+ bodies that would fill it (acoustically very challenging).
When Esperanza took the stage to perform for the GRAMMY U members, her creative spark and perfectionism (and keen ear) immediately became clear. Constantly moving between “house” and “monitor” mixes, Esperanza made the room work for her, making sure her vocals, basses (upright and electric) were perfectly tuned to Webster Hall, as well as the Radio City Society Band. She would go on to perform the Intro for her show, a clever “radio flipping” introduction to her live performance, in which her RCS Band would play different pieces as channels on her “radio” were changed, as well as pieces such as “Black Gold” and “Endangered Species” off of her new album. Perhaps most impressive is Esperanza’s ability to switch between Upright and Electric bass with such ease and grace; her talents as a songwriter become apparent from the moment she began to play.
Following the SoundCheck, GRAMMY U members were escorted to a location to meet with Esperanza for a short Q&A. Questions such as “what is it like being a teacher at such a young age at Berklee School of Music” were answered by Esperanza for members, often delving into inspirational discussions with the Singer/Songwriter. Overall, the SoundCheck was a great hit with GRAMMY U members, and behalf of The GRAMMY Foundation, the New York Chapter of The Recording Academy, and GRAMMY U, we thank Esperanza Spalding and her amazing team for being so gracious with their time.