18 February 2011

Esperanza Spalding, Grammy recipient as "Best New Artist"

To be honest, I had not heard of this young woman until I read about her being the first jazz artist ever to receive the Grammy award for Best New Artist.  Here are some excerpts from her biography at Wikipedia:
Esperanza Spalding (born 1984) is an American multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz bassist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions... Spalding grew up in the King neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, a neighborhood she describes as "ghetto" and "pretty scary". Her mother raised her and her brother as a single parent.

Spalding has a diverse ethnic background. She notes, "My mom is Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American, and my father is black." She also has an interest in the music of other cultures, including that of Brazil, commenting, "With Portuguese songs the phrasing of the melody is intrinsically linked with the language, and it’s beautiful".

... she attributes her inspiration for pursuing a life in music to watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood when she was four. By the time Spalding was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Spalding stayed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon until she was fifteen and left as concertmaster...

According to Spalding, when she was about 8 her mother briefly studied jazz guitar in college; Spalding says, "Going with her to her class, I would sit under the piano. Then I would come home and I would be playing her stuff that her teacher had been playing." Spalding also played oboe and clarinet before discovering the bass in high school. She is able to sing in English, Spanish and Portuguese...

Spalding was the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship. Almost immediately after graduation from college later the same year, Spalding was hired by Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest professors in the institution's history, at age 20...
She has performed at the White House and at the BET Awards and on Austin City Limits, but the performance I've elected to embed is labeled "Live in Copenhagen" (dated 2008). I hope you're impressed - I was. And I agree with this comment I saw on a different YouTube video:

Thank you for not letting Justin Bieber win a grammy.
The whole human race.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this, as I don't have a wide range of musical knowledge and wondered about Esperanza Spalding when I saw the news of her Grammy win. I'll have to ask my husband if he has heard her as he's more of a Jazz fan than I.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...