Esperanza Spalding is the 2011 Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist. Her win was an upset for Justin Bieber fans and for the other nominees: Florence & The Machine, Drake and Mumford & Sons. Her win at the 2011 Grammys was a refreshing surprise in a category often going to the pop or rock genre.
The 26-year-old is a native of Portland, Oregon and specializes in jazz/classical music.
Spalding’s speech at the Grammys was one of gratefulness. She appreciated the acknowledgment in not only her nomination, but the win.
Friends in Portland, teachers, and colleagues. She takes the honor “to heart so sincerely.”
When Esperanza Spalding was nominated for a Grammy at the 2011 Awards, she said in NJ.com:
“I am new in that I haven’t been around that long, and I’m an artist, so it fits. I like that I am acknowledged on a broader basis. It’s a category that is free from genre and I like the idea of not being specifically attached to one idiom and limiting where my listeners can come from.”
Esperanza plays a variety of string instruments as well as vocals. She’s in the jazz genre, but mixes classical music in her work. The Grammy Award winning artist became the concertmaster of Portland’s Chamber Music Society of Oregon when she was only 16-years-old. She learned to play the violin when she was only four years old after watching Yo-Yo Ma on “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.”
“I like to work, and I like music,” she said. “I have much more experience playing bass for other bandleaders than leading my own gigs, and I love being a sideman just as much as a leader. That’s why I got into music. It wasn’t to become my own phenomenon, it was to play music with other people.”
Esperanza Spalding’s 2011 Grammy win is as the result of her passion for music.
“I like to work, and I like music,” Esperanza said. “I have much more experience playing bass for other bandleaders than leading my own gigs, and I love being a sideman just as much as a leader. That’s why I got into music. It wasn’t to become my own phenomenon, it was to play music with other people.”
Esperanza Spalding performed at President Obama’s Nobel Prize Ceremony. Interest in booking her talent reaches high levels and now that she’s a Grammy winner for Best New Artist, her bookings will fill up quickly.
Esperanza Spalding wasn’t anticipating to win a Grammy against the likes of her competition, but she managed to make the Academy stand up and take notice of her amazing art and talent.
Sources: 2011 Grammy Awards, NJ.com