Who is this Esperanza Spalding?

by Charles Willis on Feb 21, 2011 at 8:24 AM
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  Who is Esperanza Spalding? That is the question everyone has been asking since she stole new artist of the year away from highly favored justin beiber. She is the first jazz singer to ever win that award. She has taken the world by storm. She has been one of the highest searched names on google because literally no one, but the president has ever heard of her. 

   Born in 1984, Esperanza is an Multi-instrumentalist, jazz blues singer. She internationally know for being a jazz bassist and singer. 

   Spalding grew up in the northwestern part of the us. She spent her earlier years in the Portland, Oregon. She lived in what was called the King Neighborhood.  She describes this area the ghetto and pretty scarey. She was raised by her single mother and her older brother.

   Spalding prides herself as being from diverse backgrounds. Her mother is welsh, hispanic and native american. Her father was african american. because of her diverse background she has grown to love music of different cultures, especially that of the country Brazil. 

  Esperanza says that even with her mom's backgournd and love for music that her inspiration came from watching an episode of Mr. Rogers neighborhood. Now, I know what your thinking. How could that show inspire someone to have such a love for music. Well when your show features YO YO MA and she performs on your show could inspire a world. 

 Esperanza would be considered a natural when it comes to music. She picked up the violin by the time she was five. Also at this age is when she started playing with chamber music society. WHAT? at 5? She played with chamber untill she was 15 and left as concertmaster. 

 She was home schooled most of her earlier years, due to an illness. During this time she would go with her mother to her jazz guitar class and listen to what she would do and say to her mom. Then when she got home she could play what her teacher instructed her mom to practice. She also can play oboe, clarinet and she fell in love with the bass in high school. She can also sing in english, Portuguese and spanish. Ummm Talented much!!!!!

 Spalding, at 16, left high school and got her GED. She was then able to enroll on a music scholarship in the music program at PSU, where she was the youngest bass player in the program. Her talent was recognized even though she did have the proper training as her fellow students. With the encouragement of her bass teacher, she decided to apply for the music school at Berklee College of music. because She did so well in her audition she received a full scholarship.

  She went through some hard times during her college years, finanically. This took a toll on her even to the point of leaving music forever. When Pat Methany heard of this he encouraged to continue on because she has the X factor and she would make it if she just would apply herself.

 While she was in college she would tour with Patti Austin. They would play shows internationally. Spalding considered that tour an educational time. She learned how to accompany a vocalist, sustained energy and find new ways to make the same material interesting every time they did it.

  When she graduated college, almost immediately, she was offered a job as an instructor. Again she breaks the mold, by becoming the youngest professors in the institution's history, at the age of 20. Her philosophy as an instructor is to help her students focus their practice through a practice journal which can help them recognize their strengths and what they need to pursue. 

  Who is Esperanza Spalding? She is a musical genius who has been breaking musical barriers since the age of 5. She is someone who gets to play for the president, at the nobel peace prize ceremonies and other top musical venues. Esperanza Spalding is the new face to jazz music. 

Be on the look out late this year for her next musical release. This album is currently titled Radio Music Society, which she hopes will showcase jazz musicians in an accessible manner suitable for mainstream radio. Who is Esperanza Spalding, she is a game changer.

" I can hardly express what a surprise and a thrill it was on sunday night to receive my first Grammy. In the category of Best New Artist no less. I was and am totally surprised. I am still overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for all of the people who believed in my music and who voted for me. Jazz artist aren't typically nominated in this catergory, so that alone is special about the award this year. but mainly I hope this will illuminate more that just an edge of the HUGE breadth of all that is happening in Jazz music as a whole right now. So may this bright moment for me, also be a bright moment for my colleagues." This was Esperanza's thank you for winning the grammy.

Who is esperanza spalding? She is class. She is what Jazz music is today. She is world class.



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