Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – The Grammy Awards winners will be announced on Sunday. The nominations had some surprises for most of us in the jazz world. Perhaps the top surprise was the nomination of young jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding, not in any jazz category — but for Best New Artist.
Spalding, who represents one of the most exciting voices in jazz and draws upon many genres in her music, definitely faces tough competition from four other nominees, including teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, Drake, Mumford & Sons and Florence & the Machine.
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, multi-instrumentalist Spalding sings, plays the bass and writes her own music. She says her music is influenced by the sounds of funk, soul, samba and blues. Spalding has performed all over the world.
The Grammy nominee says she has been influenced by jazz bassists Ron Carter and Dave Holland. Spalding, who sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese, has also noted her preference for the music of Brazil, a factor that has come across in her recordings. The Oregon native also cites the famed saxophone player Wayne Shorter, and singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento, as her [music] heroes.
Music critics say 26-year-old Esperanza Spalding is one of the most interesting and gifted examples of today’s jazz music.
Let’s us know if you thought she would be a Grammy winner!