Esperanza rocks the Spaghettini (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
It was anything but a regulation Thursday night at a popular Seal Beach jazz spot.
Standing center stage, speaking quietly to her band members at the Spaghettini Italian Grill & Lounge - a low-key, but modern and new Orange County spot tucked far away from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles - Best New Artist Grammy nominee Esperanza Spalding treated regulars and those who knew well in advance of her live show to a pre-Grammy concert.
The 26-year-old musician delighted diners early on casually dressed in a pair of jeans and her crown of hair pulled up on top, while going through sound-check. Each paid $75 a pop to eat and take in the live show with her band. She tinkered with her upright bass, and whispered back instructions to her band as she played
At the restaurant, she gave listeners an early listen to what her Sunday night performance might sound like - a melding of jazzed-out Latin sounds.
The only thing missing? The full team of musicians who will be backing her on Sunday night at the awards for a special number with members of the Grammy Jazz Ensemble and Grammy Camp.
Spalding also is hosting the Recording Academy's pre-telecast ceremony with Bobby McFerrin.