Melodic Monday: Spotlight on Esperanza Spalding

With Esperanza’s win for Best New Artist last week, specifically beating out Justin Bieber for the win, we thought she would be a great artist to spotlight. Many, when her name was called last week, thought “Who?” Well, we are here to put that to rest.

Spalding, born in 1984, claims one of her most powerful influences was Yo Yo Ma, when she saw him playing on Mister Rogers Neighborhood when she was just four years old, and her love of music just grew from there. She had taught herself to play the violin by the age of five and began playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon, which she continued with until the age of 15. Esperanza had every intention of playing the Cello, like Yo Yo Ma, but at 14, she discovered the Bass, and from there it was history. Her voice she credits with “singing in the shower”, although she did take a few voice lessons to teach her how to protect it.

She played the club scene around Oregon since she was a teenager, and recorded three albums; unjo (2006), Esperanza (2008) and Chamber Music Society (2010), the latter of which won her the Grammy.

Her next project, which is due to be released in late 2011 called Radio Music Society, she hopes will showcase jazz musicians in a way suitable for mainstream radio. So sit back, grab a cup of whatever it is you like to sip, and take a listen to ‘Best New Artist’ Esperanza Spalding in this informal concert setting brought to you by NPR. Let us know what you think below!

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