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Esperanza Spalding brought Emily's D+Evolution to Terminal West

A rapid-fire display of feverish manifestations of subjects pushing against the walls of Spalding’s mind, with the only mechanism of release being Emily.

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  • Brandon English? ?
  • Esperanza Spalding embraced her Emily persona during her performance at Terminal West on July 3.? ?

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? Bowie to Ziggy , Prince to Love Symbol #2, Shock G to Humpty Hump, Puff Daddy to P. Diddy — to just Diddy. OK, most of these have nothing in common. The point is musicians across the board seek change at some point in their career. Sometimes it’s simply a change of moniker while others embrace fugue-like alter egos. Child prodigy and all around musically inclined badass Esperanza Spalding shot for the latter with the creation of Emily. Inspired by learning of the musical duality of Ginger Baker while watching the documentary Beware Mr. Baker, Spalding put together a full tour around her new persona: Emily's D+Evolution Tour. ?

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? With a chaotic energy that was somewhat reminiscent of New York City’s no wave acts of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Emily retained Spalding’s musical heft while leaving room for some fray around the edges. Part live concert and part performance theater, Emily touched on various social and political issues at such a breakneck pace that they may have been lost on many in the crowd at Terminal West. Everyone in the room stood in awe of the transformation unfolding on stage. In one brief yet poignant moment, she fell to her knees in a prayer-like position after breaking glasses strewn atop her piano. As she knelt, a sample of the recent church bell memorial held in Charleston, Emanuel AME played bringing sharp gravitas to the character’s actions. Vignettes such as this happened between songs, and came across as feverish manifestations of subjects pushing against the walls of Spalding’s mind, with the only mechanism of release being Emily.
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