Esperanza Spalding

Pianist Victor Gould took a shine to the piano at age four and has been sparkling on the keyboards ever since. Born in Los Angeles, Victor's piano virtuosity has made waves in New York’s renowned jazz scene and beyond.

In the liner notes to John Coltrane's 1964 album Live At Birdland, Amiri Baraka (then writing as Le Roi Jones) contemplated the gift the saxophonist and his band offered with this music inspired by the horrific deaths of four Black girls in a Birmingham church bombing inspired by white supremacist hatred. "Listen," Baraka wrote. "What we're given is a slow delicate introspective sadness, almost hopelessness, except for Elvin [Jones], rising in the background like something out of nature... a fattening thunder, storm clouds or jungle war clouds.

Trumpeter Arnetta Johnson discovered the trumpet a dozen years ago as a "band geek" at Creative and Performing Arts High School in Camden, NJ, and went on to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Mentored by both Jill Scott and Tia Fuller, Arnetta blossomed from her first professional gig with the Unity Community Center's (UCC) Little Jazz Giants, to being the featured trumpeter on both Beyoncé Formation and On The Run II tours.

Patrick Jarenwattananon has been the backbone of our jazz coverage almost since NPR Music started in 2007. Patrick came to us as a 22-year-old intern and shortly after began covering legendary and rising jazz luminaries like a veteran journalist. His writing for A Blog Supreme captured the spirit of the jazz community and was a rich resource for thoughtful coverage on this living American musical culture.

I'll be giving away tickets all week long for the upcoming  Esperanza Spalding concert at the Electric Factory! The Grammy award-winning bassist/vocalist/composer will be in town on May 13th.  Tune in between 9:30 and 10:30 pm, Monday through Thursday, for your chance to win a pair of passes for the show!