In celebration of Earth Day, jazz musician Esperanza Spalding will present the world premiere of her video “Endangered Species” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. later today. The single is from Esperanza’s newest album, Radio Music Society, and will be shown to over 250,000 people on 3 jumbotron screens in addition to being simulcast live through the Earth Day network.

Why should we here at Amazon Aid be so “jazzed” up about this you may ask? Well, in continued celebration of our planet, Esperanza’s April 22 concert at the Orpheum theater in Boston will be an official Earth Day concert, where that night fans will be able to visit her site to download the “Endangered Species” video for free (for a limited time) and then press a button to make a donation that will go directly to the Amazon Aid Foundation!

Here’s a short statement from Esperanza detailing her plan to show gratitude for our planet this Earth Day:

” Deciding how to celebrate Earth Day can pose some unique challenges. First I think, “How can I show gratitude for all that mother earth gives me?” Well, truthfully, anything I can do PALES in comparison to what the earth does for us…water, air, soil, oceans, mountains, rain, endless beauty, limitless inspiration! (just to name a FEW). So, what the hell will some piddly celebration do for the earth? More than ever before, we have the opportunity to show our dedication and gratitude to the earth and all its inhabitants by working to protect and heal the earth’s natural systems from the deadly abuses our species has mounted on nature. And, for each person’s skill set there is a unique part one can play in the healing and protecting process…So when we celebrate Earth Day, we help each other remember not just our gratitude to and dependence on mother earth, but our responsibility to step up and counter the ills and assaults battered on nature and her inhabitants.

So (in spite of my puny ability to show reverence) what I’ve decided to do is offer to the celebration an ode to Mother Nature. The song titled “Endangered Species” was written by Wayne Shorter and Joseph Vitarelli. I recently wrote lyrics for the piece inspired by the dangers many of earth’s residents face: environmental degradation, habitat destruction, overfishing, overhunting, water contamination, increasing production of toxic and non-biodegradable compounds and materials, increasing CO2 emissions, and deforestation (sadly, just to name a few!). The video “Endangered Species,” animated by sand artist Kseniya Simonova features some residents of earth in desperate danger (of course, we are also a species in danger!). Although the truth of endangered species’ plight is tragic, I hope when people watch this video, they’ll be reminded that we have the potential to live in harmony with nature.

We can choose our actions…while yes, our survival is intrinsically linked with the health of the earth’s natural systems, we dictate our destiny through our actions, and we DO have the power to STOP the assault on mother earth. All proceeds from the sale of this video and song go the Amazon Aid Foundation which works to stop deforestation. Through honest analysis of the actions that must be taken to protect earth’s many imperiled ecosystems, hands on work healing damages that have been done, loud advocacy (yes loud, this is urgent!) for the protection of fragile ecosystems and many easy and not-so-easy lifestyle changes, we can each contribute our unique talents to the most pressing challenge of our time: saving our home. HAPPY EARTH DAY! ” 

Amazon Aid would like to extend an enormous thanks to Esperanza Spalding for her efforts on bringing awareness to environmental issues like our continued fight to end the ongoing illicit and unregulated gold mining in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. It is refreshing to see younger artists in tune with Mother Nature and willing to speak out for what is right.

To read some more about Esperanza or listen to songs from her new album, check out her website. Also make sure to go see her in concert if you can, her tour kicked off April 18th and will travel all over the U.S. Click here for tour dates and see if Esperanza is coming to a venue near you.