Archive for February 14, 2011

Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, is proud to announce that bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding has won the GRAMMY® Award for Best New Artist. Winners were announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards on Sunday, February 13, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. All nominations were for albums released from September 1, 2009 to September 30, 2010.

Spalding is the first jazz musician to ever win the Best New Artist GRAMMY® Award. She was nominated along with Justin Bieber, Drake, Florence & the Machine, and Mumford and Sons. Her inclusion in this mainstream category signified her considerable appeal to a broad audience.

“Esperanza is a phenomenal artist, and we’re thrilled about her GRAMMY® win,” says Mark Wexler, Senior Vice President and Label Manager, Jazz and Classics Group. “All of us at the Concord Music Group are delighted that she’s been honored by her peers in the music industry, and we’re proud to be a part of her success.”

Concord Music Group label manager Gene Rumsey added, “Esperanza embodies everything a ‘Best New Artist’ should: inspired vision, unique creativity and undeniable talent. The Concord team is extremely pleased to be associated with such an outstanding person and artist. We look forward to what will surely be an important and lasting career in music.”

Spalding combines the imaginative flights of a serious improviser with the musical accessibility of a pop star and within two years of her solo debut has beguiled success at nearly unimaginable heights. Esperanza, her 2008 release, spent over 70 weeks on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart and was the most successful internationally selling debut that year.

Chamber Music Society, Spalding’s most recent release, is a brilliant marriage of string and jazz trio, and a showcase for her eclectic sensibilities along with her vocal and compositional talents. In January 2011, Chamber Music Society hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.

Other career highlights include two televised performances at the White House, a Banana Republic ad campaign, features in Oprah Magazine and The New Yorker, numerous awards and high profile tour dates, capped by an invitation to perform at the 2009 Nobel Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway.

For nearly 20 years, Heads Up International has been successfully carving its niche in the world of contemporary instrumental music. Heads Up artists and releases have consistently landed on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz, Traditional Jazz and World Music charts, and have garnered numerous industry awards, including Billboard’s Contemporary Latin Jazz Album of the Year, the AFIM’s Independent Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, eight GRAMMY® Awards and numerous GRAMMY® nominations. Heads Up was also the winner of JazzWeek’s Radio Programmers Album of the Year Award for two consecutive years, and Gibson Guitar’s Best Female Jazz Guitarist. In addition to the awards and accolades, Heads Up artists have regularly captured the No. 1 slot in national radio airplay.

Esperanza 2011 Spring Tour

16-Feb-11 Blue Note Tokyo, Japan
17-Feb-11 Blue Note Tokyo, Japan
18-Feb-11 Blue Note Tokyo, Japan
19-Feb-11 Blue Note Tokyo, Japan
25-Feb-11 Portland Jazz Festival – Newmark Theater Portland, OR
26-Feb-11 Bovard Auditorium Los Angeles, CA
27-Feb-11 Campbell Hall Santa Barbara, CA
03-Mar-11 Shaftman Performance Hall Roanoke, VA
04-Mar-11 Weinberg Center Frederick, MD
05-Mar-11 Union County Arts Center Rahway, NJ
09-Mar-11 Finney Chapel – Oberlin College Oberlin, OH
11-Mar-11 Music Hall Detroit, MI
12-Mar-11 Ritz Theatre Jacksonville, FL
26-Mar-11 Capetown International Jazz Festival Cape Town, South Africa
30-Mar-11 Cully Jazz Festival Cully, Switzerland
01-Apr-11 Teatro Metropolitan Catania, Italy
02-Apr-11 Teatro Kursaal Santa Lucia Bari, Italy
05-Apr-11 Hangar 23 Rouen, France
06-Apr-11 Espace 1789 Ouen, France
08-Apr-11 Barbican Centre London, England
09-Apr-11 Palau de Congressos Girona, Spain
10-Apr-11 Auditori de Barcelona Barcelona, Spain
12-Apr-11 Jazzablanca Festival Casablanca, Morocco

Get your funk on at the 4th Annual Nufunk Festival featuring one of Toronto’s finest funk collective God Made Me Funky and the soulful & raunchy breakout artist Saida Baba Talibah Saturday, February 26th, 2011 The Opera House – 722 Queen St. W

$15 Advance (SS, PD, RT, SB, SLINKY & Canadian Funkpresario are proud to bring you the fourth fantastic edition of Toronto’s funkiest winter music celebration — the NuFunk Festival. As always, the 2011 NuFunk Festival promises a dance-floor rockin’ mix of the new sounds you need to hear and old friends you can’t resist — with an emphasis on the funkiest music this great city and country have to offer! Past performers include Bonobo, Elizabeth Shepherd, Charlie Hunter, King Sunshine, Nostalgia 77, Kevin Breit and the Sister’s Euclid and so many others…

This year NuFunk Festival will be headlined by one of Toronto’s freshest funk factions, God Made Me Funky. Formed back in 1996, the band has developed into one of Canada’s premiere live acts, making audiences across the country dance to their heavy funk originals and classic covers. Carrying the NuFunk torch into the next decade, GMMF continues to set the stage on fire with their furious funkiness. God Made Me Funky (GMMF) is a live ensemble comprised of a diverse array of musicians ranging from classically trained Jazz artists to street schooled Hip-Hop & R&B vocalists, all of which share the common bond of moving crowds and bringing the Nu Funk in to the next millennium. GMMF has been widely recognized in the Toronto music scene for their highly energetic and outstanding ORIGINAL music and live remixes of Funk, Soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop classics. 2010 was a busy year for God Made Me Funky, who played to over 20,000 people opening for INXS as a part of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC. The band also got national attention when lead singer Phatt Al appeared in a Ontario Tourism Commercial. Now with credits that include movie placements and US tour dates, God Made Me Funky are hard at work on their new album slated for release in late 2011.

Saidah Baba Talibah, singer, dancer, actress, writer and artist, cultivated her penchant for performing before birth, in the womb of her mother, renowned jazz/blues singer, Salome Bey. She has appeared in Showboat and The Adventures of a Black Girl In Search Of God, was a lead vocalist in the rock/soul/fusion band Blaxäm and sang with the Canadian Idol band for three seasons. Saidah also sang for Maestro Fresh-Wes, k-os , Redman, Marc Jordan, By Divine Right, Michael Bublé, Alannah Myles, Skydiggers, Divine Brown, Johnny Reid and Jully Black. Presently, Saidah is creating a soundscape of her life through song, collaborating with some great singer/songwriters and musicians. NuFunk gratefully acknowledges the assistance of our sponsors and supporters: SonicBids, Fusicology, Eye Weekly, Moog, Slinky, Do Right! and Right On Media, ComPosition, Long & McQuade, Dose, Ducktape,, 360 Degrees Artists, Toronto School for the Enjoyment of Music, Smallworld Music, CIUT 89.5 FM,, soulwhat, and Make it Funky. $15 Advance tickets: Soundscapes (572 College St.) Play De Record (357A Yonge St.) Slinky Music/Moog Audio (442 Queen St. W.) Rotate This (801 Queen St. W.) Shanti Baba (546 Queen St. W.) Online @ or Artist Links: