Jazz musician Esperanza Spalding

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Spalding demonstrates the skills that earned her this year’s Best New Artist Grammy—a first for a jazz artist in the 53-year history of the Awards.

With a multilingual voice and composing/arranging skills that mesh old-school with the progressive, Esperanza Spalding brings an approach to jazz that she hopes exposes the genre to younger audiences. She was playing violin by age 5. At 15, she worked at a club in her Portland (OR) hometown. A graduate of Boston's Berklee College of Music, she became the youngest professor in the school's history. Spalding has collaborated with some of the best in the business and, this year, became the first jazz musician to win the Best New Artist Grammy.


Tavis: Two years ago this month, in fact, we introduced you to a young jazz artist named Esperanza Spalding who was just beginning to gain some notice in the jazz world not only for her talent, but also for that hair. This past Sunday night, two years after her first appearance on this program, she made Grammy history by becoming the first jazz musician to win in the category of Best New Artist.
So tonight we dig into our music archives to bring you a song we’ve never shown before, Esperanza Spalding performing “Precious” from her self-titled CD. Enjoy, good night from Los Angeles. Congratulations, Esperanza, and as always, keep the faith.
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Last modified: April 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm