Esperanza Emily Spalding (born October 18, 1984) is an American jazz bassist, singer, songwriter, and composer. Her accolades include four Grammy Awards, a Boston Music Award, and a Soul Train Music Award.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Spalding began playing music professionally in her childhood, performing as a violinist in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon at age five. She was later both self-taught and trained on a number of instruments, including guitar and bass. Her proficiency earned her academic scholarships to Portland State University and the Berklee College of Music, both of which she attended, studying music.
Spalding released her first album, Junjo, in 2006 on the Spanish label Ayva Musica, after which she signed with the independent American label Heads Up, who released her 2007 self-titled album. Her third studio album, Chamber Music Society (2010), was a commercial success, charting at number 34 on the Billboard 200, and resulting in Spalding winning her first Grammy Award for Best New Artist; Spalding was the first jazz artist to win in this category. She saw further acclaim for her fourth release, Radio Music Society (2012), which earned the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, as well as the track “City of Roses” winning for Best Arrangement, Instrument and Vocals.
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