ESPERANZA SPALDING “Radio Music Society” To Headline at Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival on Saturday June 23 Tickets on Sale Friday April 13th

April 10, 2012


For Immediate Release

Rochester, NY – April 10, 2012 –Esperanza Spalding made her debut at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival in 2007 performing in the Club Pass Series at Max of Eastman Place. Five years later, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Best New Artist will headline at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on Saturday June 23 at 8 p.m.

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 2010 GRAMMY® for Best New Artist was unprecedented—the first time a jazz musician had won the award.

Esperanza Spalding Radio Music Society is the last headliner to be announced for the festival's 11th edition, June 22-30. She joins previously announced headliners Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Steve Martin - whose concerts have already sold out - and Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa and Daryl Hall, Live from Daryl’s House. Tickets are still available for Hall and Zappa.

"Before Esperanza Spalding performed here in 2007, this very special artist was unquestionably destined for super stardom. Not only was she chosen as artist of the year in 2011 (beating out teen pop idol, Justin Bieber), she is a formidable leader in the music world because of her personality, charisma, style, incredible bass playing and magnificent singing, not to mention her sensational nine-piece band! This show could easily be the highlight of XRIJF 2012, " said John Nugent, Producer and Artistic Director.

Tickets go on sale Friday April 13 at 10 a.m. at, which is the fastest way to order. Tickets are $60/$53/$43/$33 + service charges. Tickets will also be on sale at the Kodak Hall Oval Lobby Box Office, located at the corner of Gibbs and Main Streets in Rochester, for one day only on April 13 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. There is a $7 service charge for all headliner tickets. To have printed tickets mailed to you, the service charge is $9. Customers without computer access may order by calling 585-454-2060. The new e-ticketing system is run by RIJF.

Esperanza Spalding

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.

The one pursuit that made sense to Spalding from a very early age was music. At age four, after watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the roadmap was suddenly very clear. “That was when I realized that I wanted to do something musical,” she says. “It was definitely the thing that hipped me to the whole idea of music as a creative pursuit.”

Within a year, she had taught herself to play the violin well enough to land a spot in The Chamber Music Society of Oregon. She had also discovered the bass, and all of the non-classical avenues that the instrument could open for her. Before long she was playing blues, funk, hip-hop and a variety of other styles on the local club circuit. Her first band, Noise for Pretend, expanded Spalding’s musical horizons and presented her earliest opportunities to sing and write music.

Berklee College of Music was the place where the pieces all came together and doors started opening. She earned a B.M., and 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.

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.

Note to Editors: High-resolution photos of the artists are available in the “Press Room” at


The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival presented by M&T Bank was founded in 2002 and is produced by John Nugent, Artistic Director and Marc Iacona, Executive Director. The 2011 Festival drew more than 182,000 music lovers to hear some of the finest artists in the world perform.


Media Contacts:

Dalmath Associates Inc.

Jean Dalmath / 585-586-6650 Office / 585-755-6911 Mobile

Amanda Antinore / 585-586-6650 Office / 585-729-7533 Mobile