Esperanza Spalding, Fred Hersch Issue Live Recording To Further Jazz Foundation Fundraising Efforts


Bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and pianist Fred Hersch are raising funds for Jazz Foundation of America amid the pandemic.

(Photo: Christopher Drukker)

Bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding and pianist Fred Hersch recorded a 2018 run at New York’s Village Vanguard, and a five-song digital EP derived from the engagement is aiming to raise funds for Jazz Foundation of America’s COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund.

Live At The Village Vanguard—Rough Mix EP: A Benefit Recording For The Jazz Foundation Of America opens with the Gershwin tune “But Not For Me,” while Spalding (who sticks to vocals across the recording) takes on songs like “Girl Talk” and “Some Other Time,” moving between proper lyrics and scat interpretations.

“I think there’s a lot of joy and beauty in this music that Fred and I made,” Spalding said in a press release. “Beyond collecting money for musicians in need, sharing the beauty in our hearts can have a healing effect as well.”

The recording—which will be available through June at a cost of $17—follows an outpouring of relief efforts, including JFA’s own May 14 #TheNewGig streaming concert. On May 28, the organization also announced that several entities had contributed to the COVID-19 Musicians’ Emergency Fund, including Blue Note Records, Concord Jazz, Mack Avenue Records, the Verve Label Group, Warner Music Group, Amazon Music, Apple Music and the Herb Alpert Foundation.

“[A]n immense amount of work remains to be done, and the tremendous response we have received to date only scratches the surface when you consider the thousands of musicians and families in economic free-fall across the country who are now in need of emergency financial support for basic necessities like groceries and utility payments,” JFA Executive Director Joe Petrucelli said in a press release. DB

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