“Um Vento Passou (para Paul Simon)” Featuring Paul Simon Released Today, from Milton Nascimento and esperanza spalding’s Collaborative Album

Article Contributed by Shore Fire Media | Published on Sunday, June 23, 2024

A new song from the forthcoming album Milton & esperanza - a collaborative project from Milton Nascimento and esperanza spalding - has been released today.  “Um Vento Passou (para Paul Simon)” features a vocal duet between Paul Simon and Nascimento.  Inspired by his long time friendship with Paul Simon, Nascimento wrote the song recently, and the world is able to hear it for the first time. Lyrics are by Nascimento’s long time collaborator, and fellow Clube da Esquina alum, Marcio Borges. Milton & esperanza, produced and arranged by spalding, is slated for August 9th release on Concord Records.

Listen to “Um Vento Passou (para Paul Simon)” here:  https://found.ee/Milton-esperanza

In this video, spalding shares some of the special story behind “Um Vento Passou (para Paul Simon)” - how Nascimento wrote it with Paul Simon in mind, the connections between all three of them, and how Simon learned to sing the lyrics in Portuguese: LINK

The album was announced in May along with the release of “Outubro,” and covered enthusiastically by the NY Times, Pitchfork, The Fader, Stereogum and beyond. NPR Music remarked that the voices of Nascimento and spalding “sound heavenly together.”  BET said that the album, based on “Outubro,” is “destined to be a remarkable project,” with WXPN adding: “this might just be the biggest collaborative project of the year.”  

Milton & esperanza features 16 tracks that celebrate and reimagine Nascimento’s beloved classics, new pieces written by spalding with Nascimento in mind, and interpretations of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” and Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song.” Guests include Dianne Reeves, Lianne La Havas, Maria Gadú, Tim Bernardes, Carolina Shorter, Elena Pinderhughes, Shabaka Hutchings, Guinga and more.  The album features spalding’s core band of Matthew Stevens (guitar), Justin Tyson and Eric Doob (drums), Leo Genovese (piano), Corey D. King (vocals, synths), and several Brazilian musicians, including Orquestra Ouro Preto, percussionists Kainã Do Jêje and Ronaldinho Silva and Lula Galvão.  

Milton + esperanza sparkles with duets between these two voices, exquisite musicianship and what spalding identifies as a central theme of the album: the importance of younger generations creating with, learning from, and building new worlds with elders.  A guiding spirit for the project was Wayne Shorter, whose collaboration with Nascimento, Native Dancer, was released nearly 50 years ago.  “This was all about Wayne,” spalding stated in a recent interview with WRTI. “I think at the end of the day, he is that guiding light for both of us to dare and be expansive, and also go for broke.”

The genesis for this album goes back to the very first time spalding heard a Nascimento recording, at a dinner party when a friend put on Native Dancer.  “I get chills even thinking about it,” she says.”  “Ninety percent of things I write, I’m thinking of him.  He’s a very present part of my creative imagination.” They would finally meet (thanks in part to an introduction made by Herbie Hancock) and began to collaborate, record and perform live together.  In 2022, Nascimento, now 81, embarked on a farewell tour, and invited spalding to perform on a couple of shows.  At dinner on the eve of her participation in Nascimento’s Boston performance, his son asked her to produce Nascimento’s next album.  A dream had come true.  She worked in Brazil throughout 2023 recording and producing the album.  

Milton + esperanza is spalding’s first new album release since 2021's songwrights apothecary lab, which along with 2019’s 12 Little Spells, both won GRAMMY Awards (Best Jazz Vocal Album). Last year spalding released a protest song entitled “Não Ao Marco Temporal” that was recorded in Rio and addresses the Temporal Framework, an initiative in Brazil that threatens Indigenous Brazilians’ land rights and poses a major risk to the Amazon rainforest.  A 5-time GRAMMY winner and 11-time nominee, spalding has previously released 8 full length albums and in addition to working with her heroes including Nascimento and Shorter, she has collaborated with Prince, Herbie Hancock, Janelle Monae, Robert Glasper, Terri Lyne Carrington and many others.  As a composer her credits include writing the libretto for the opera “...(Iphigenia)” with Wayne Shorter, which premiered in 2021.  She is also a philanthropist and advocate, and currently co-directs a non-profit BIPOC artist sanctuary in her hometown of Portland, OR.

spalding is also touring this year, with dates scheduled throughout 2024, as well as a 12-night residency at the Blue Note in New York City in February and March of 2025.  Nascimento and spalding don’t currently plan on doing a tour to support the record; these performances feature esperanza with her band.  Tickets are on sale now, see below for the full itinerary.

Pre-order: https://found.ee/Milton-esperanza

Official Artist Store (limited edition vinyl): https://found.ee/Milton-esperanzaStore

Esperanza website: esperanzaspalding.com

Track List:

    the music was there
    Late September
    A Day in the Life
    Interlude for Saci
    Saci (featuring Guinga)
    Wings for the Thought Bird (featuring Elena Pinderhughes and Orquestra Ouro Preto)
    The Way You Are
    Earth Song (featuring Dianne Reeves)
    Morro Velho (featuring Orquestra Ouro Preto)
    Saudade Dos Aviões Da Panair (Conversando No Bar) (featuring Lianne La Havas, Maria Gadú, Tim Bernardes, Lula Galvão)
    Um Vento Passou (para Paul Simon) (featuring Paul Simon)
    Get It By Now
    outra planeta
    When You Dream (featuring Carolina Shorter)

2024 U.S. esperanza spalding Tour Dates

8/1 - Los Angeles, CA - Luckman Theatre

8/2 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater

8/3 - Portland, OR - Vanport Jazz Festival

8/4 - Seattle, WA - Benaroya Hall

8/9 - Phoenix, AZ - Celebrity Theater

8/10 - Rio Rancho, NM - Rio Rancho Events Center

9/13 - Cincinnati, OH - Taft Theatre

9/14 - Indianapolis, IN - Murat Theatre

9/15 - St. Louis, MO - Music at the Intersection (Festival)

9/16 - Skokie, IL - North Shore Center for the Performing Arts

9/17 - Milwaukee, WI - Marcus Performing Arts Center

11/13 - New Orleans, LA - Orpheum Theater

11/14 - Austin, TX - Paramount Theatre

11/15 - Stillwater, OK - The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts

11/16 - Salina, KS - The Stiefel Theatre