Tiny Desk NPR features a well loved artist for their First 2022 performance.

Tiny Desk NPR features a well loved artist for their First 2022 performance.

Anita Duncan

At Tiny Desk NPR, the accomplished artist Esperanza Spalding performed as the first entertainer of the new year. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, this performance was made into a Tiny Desk (Home)concert. She and her backup, The Loving Presences and dancer the Magical Dance Presence, used songs from her project “Songwrights Apothecary Lab” (S.A.L). This is just one other accolade to add to Spaldings experiences.

Spalding got her start playing many instruments in college, displaying her musical skill and love for the art. That musical skill was what got her noticed by the Berklee College of Music and got her hired as one the youngest teachers in the school’s history. Teaching at that college was what opened her eyes to her love of the Bass, and she made that her principal instrument for the rest of her musical career. Her first album “Junjo” was released in 2006, and that led to many more albums and tours that got her to where she is today. Her most recent album before (S.A.L) “12 Little Spells” won her a Grammy award on top of her Soul Train award, 5 other Grammys, and Boston Music Awards.

On Friday, Spalding became the first artist to play at Tiny Desk NPR in 2022. Tiny Desk concerts were started in 2008 by NPR when host Bob Boilen was annoyed by a bar concert that was so loud he couldn’t hear the artist. One of his coworkers, Stephen Thomson, joked that they should just have the artist play at Boilen’s desk. From there sprung the idea for Tiny Desk concerts, a platform for upcoming artists and a fun opportunity for well established ones. 

Spalding succeeded in showing off her musical prowess and the dreamlike quality to her new work. In NPR’s article about the performance, it was described as a “constant iteration of revolutionary ideas.” If you’re interested in seeing it for yourself, the recorded versions are all up on youtube and the Tiny Desk website!