in the Mix

4/18/2012, 8:53 a.m.
Jaden’s Ladder “Bright Lights, Big City” Black and White Gala, Saturday,...

Also in the play are Daphne Rubin-Vega as Stella and Wood Harris as Harold Mitchell.

Opening night for “A Streetcar Named Desire” is April 22 at the Broadhurst Theatre.  It’s definitely worth a trip to the city!

After the performance, I was emotionally spent, not to mention hungry. Since I was right in the heart of  the Theater District, I did what any theatergoer would do. I had dinner at the famous Sardi’s Restaurant, which has been the toast of Broadway for 90 years.

You can’t help singing along…

I had hoped to interview jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding before her show later this month, but sadly that was not to be. But I was asked to review her album. After listening to her latest musical creation, “Radio Music Society,” there’s no doubt as to why she became the first jazz musician to win a Grammy for “Best New Artist” in 2011. The girl has got chops and then some.

This album is the follow up to her 2010 best-selling release “Chamber Music Society.” Spalding expands on the idea of “jazz-inspired-pop-radio music” combined with the soulfulness of Jill Scott and the “buttah sound” of Barbra Streisand.

“Radio Music Society” appeals to new jazz listeners as well as jazz aficionados.  The opening track “Radio Song” breezily introduces you to Esperanza. She wins you over immediately with the lightness and sweetness in her voice.

From there she leads you into the jazzy “Cinnamon Tree” that was written to cheer up a friend and celebrates platonic love. One of the highlights on the album, “Black Gold,” is a love song to young boys of color.

Spalding takes you on a musical journey that opens your heart to the possibilities of love, music and even friendship. From the cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Can’t Help It” and Wayne Shorter’s “Endangered Species” (featuring Lalah Hathaway) to the “City of Roses” (co-produced by Q-Tip,” Esperanza easily spreads her magic with this album. “Radio Music Society” is a must for your collection.  

Esperanza Spalding performs at the Berklee Performance Center on April 22 at 8 p.m.

Coming up…

On April 19, Company One hosts its “C1 Gala XIII” at the The Cyclorama at the BCA.  It’s a night of live art and music, dancing, dinner and drinks to benefit Company One. There’ll be tasty treats from Noche, Bambara, Flatiron Tapas, The Middle East Restaurant, J.P. Licks and more.  Tickets are still available at www.CompanyOne.com/Gala.

RandB loverman Keith Sweat headlines Showcase Live at Patriot Place in Foxboro at 8 p.m. on April 20.

“Sax-man” Elan Trotman returns to Scullers Jazz Club with special guest Brian Simpson on April 24 for one show at 8 p.m.

The award-winning Broadway musical FELA! comes to Cutler Majestic Theatre April 24 - May 6.  Tickets available at www.artsemerson.org.

On Sunday, April 29, the Haley House Bakery Café presents “A Sweeter Life Dessert Fundraiser,” 3-5 p.m. with some of Boston’s finest dessert chefs showcasing their signature treats. Proceeds will benefit Haley House’s Transitional Employment Program that supports individuals transitioning from incarceration.

The featured chefs include Flour Bakery’s Joanne Chang, Finale’s Nicole Cody, Sofra Bakery’s Maura Kilpatrick, L’Espalier’s Jiho Kim, Chocolee Chocolate’s Lee Napoli, Toscanini’s Gus Rancatore, and the Met Club’s Elaine Stella.

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, email me at inthemixwithcolette@gmail.com.