Written by: Guest Contributor
Esperanza Spalding is an American multi-instrumental jazz musician. She is best known as a bassist and singer who fuses eclectic, cross-cultural sounds into her original compositions. Growing up in a rough neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, Spalding won a scholarship to the prestigious Northwest Academy performing arts schools where she picked up the bass. She dropped out of high school when she was only 16 years old, but earned her GED and later attended Portland State University’s music program and Berkley College of Music.
In 2011, following the release of her second studio album, Esperanza, Spalding became the first jazz artist to win the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Reflecting her own diverse ethnic background of Welsh, Hispanic, Native American and African American heritage, Spalding sings in three different languages on Esperanza- English, Spanish and Portuguese. She has released two more studio albums and can be seen at the 2012 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
–Post by Sally Drape, Tulane University student