Esperanza Spalding is a jazz bassist and singer from the U.S, born on October 18, 1984. Her album, “Junjo,” catapulted her to fame. She is self-taught and has had training on a variety of musical instruments, including the bass and guitar. She was awarded scholarships to Portland State University and Berklee College of Music for her talent. She teaches music theory and practice at Harvard University. This appointment was given to her in 2017. Heads Up International, Hush Records, and Merge Records are her labels. Today we celebrate her and her accomplishments.
Esperanza Spalding was born in New York City. She grew up in the King area in northeast Portland, where she was born and raised. Her father is of African descent, and her mother is of Welsh, Native American, and Hispanic ancestry. Spalding and her brother were raised by their mother, a single parent. Spalding has always had a passion for music. At the age of five, she trained herself to play the violin and was performing with the Oregon Chamber Music Society. She was homeschooled during her childhood due to her frequent illness, however, she did attend King Elementary School in northeast Portland and Northwest Academy. She was a violinist who was interested in other cultures’ music, particularly Portuguese and Brazilian music.
Spalding began her career at a young age. She began performing live in clubs as a child in Portland, Oregon, securing her first show at the age of 15 at a blues bar when she could only play one bass line. One of the musicians with whom she performed that first night urged her to join the band’s practices to assist her in her learning, and her rehearsals quickly turned into regular performances that lasted over a year. Her early encounters with these musicians inspired her style and sense of rhythm, as well as her enthusiasm for her instrument. Spalding began her professional career in 2006.
Her studio album “Junjo” was released. Two years later, she released the album “Esperanza” (2008), and the same year, she sang ‘Prelude for Lovers’ on the album “Energy” by the band Fourplay. “Chamber Music Society,” her third album, was released in 2010. Her album “Radio Music Society” was released in 2012, and it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. To date, she has sold over 130 million copies. “Emily’s D+Evolution,” her fifth studio album, was released by Concord Records in March 2016. Spalding released twelve tracks a day from October 7 until October 18, 2018, becoming the album “12 Little Spells,” her seventh studio release. Each track was accompanied by a music video that was uploaded on her official YouTube page and corresponded to a specific body area. The album’s experimental structure, according to Spalding, is the result of her gradual distancing from the title of “artist,” gravitating toward a concept-driven identity.
She wins the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for excellent musicianship in 2005.
Ayva Music publishes her debut album, “Junjo.”
She wins the Grammy for Best New Artist for her self-titled second album.
At Harvard University, Spalding is named a Professor of Music Practice.
Why We Love Esperanza Spalding
She is a very good musician
Spalding has always loved music right from a young age, Even outside of jazz, she is one of our generation's most gifted musicians. Despite the avant-garde nature of the ideas, her authenticity makes it accessible to almost everybody.
She is very passionate about music
After witnessing classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform in “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,” Spalding fell in love with music at the age of four. She picked up the violin since she was too tiny to play the cello. She has made and performed amazing jazz music ever since.
She loves helping the community
Spalding contributed a percentage of the proceeds from clothing sales from her 2012 tour to the non-profit group Free the Slaves. The Washington, D.C.-based charity fights human trafficking all over the world.
5 Surprising Facts
She is a multi-lingual vocalist
She sings in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
She performed for Barack Obama
Spalding is a favorite of former U.S. President Barack Obama and performed at his Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo.
She has appeared in a movie
In 2017, Spalding starred as herself in the film “Love Beats Rhymes.”
Her first musical instrument was a violin
She mentioned in an interview that the first musical instrument she ever owned was a violin.
The first Grammy-winning jazz musician
She was named Best New Performer at the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, making her the first jazz artist to win the category.
Esperanza Spalding FAQs
How old was Esperanza Spalding when she started playing the bass?
She was 15 years old.
How many siblings does Spalding have?
She has one sibling. Her sibling’s name is Hoben Spalding
Does Spalding teach at Berklee?
She studied and taught at Berklee College of Music before being named professor of music practice at Harvard University in 2017.
Esperanza Spalding’s birthday dates