Spalding Donates Nobel Dress to Women in Jazz Initiative

Posted October 20th, 2011 at 4:15 pm (UTC+0)
1 comment

Esperanza Spalding, right, talks with John Hasse (AP)

Esperanza Spalding's dress. Spalding, right, talks with John Hasse, curator of American Music at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Washington, Oct. 17, 2011 (AP)

Diaa Bekheet | Washington, DC – Grammy Award winning bassist Esperanza Spalding has donated the dress she wore for her performance at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for President Obama to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

The jazz artist’s donation was collected last Monday as part of the museum’s women in jazz initiative, which began this past April with Jazz Appreciation Month.

I tried to get her on the line to talk about it, but she’s busy on a tour.

Earlier this year, the acclaimed bassist-singer-composer Spalding made history at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, becoming the first-ever jazz artist to win “Best New Artist” of the year, topping teen idol Justin Bieber, among others.

Spalding’s Solo Albums

  • Junjo April, 2006
  • Esperanza May, 2008
  • Chamber Music Society August, 2010
  • Collaborations:16 other albums with various musicians

Spalding, already a young influential African American, blends jazz, folk and world music with classical chamber music traditions.

Spalding has three solo albums, including Chamber Music Society (2010), which remained at No. 1 on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Albums charts for ten consecutive weeks. She also collaborated with other musicians on 16 other albums.

Next February, she plans to release her fourth album, Radio Music Society.


Born in Portland, Oregon, the 26-year-old talented Spalding studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She graduated at the age of 20, and was immediately hired by the college, becoming one of the youngest professors in the institution’s history.

For more on jazz music, listen to VOA’s Jazz America

Diaa Bekheet
Diaa Bekheet has worked for a host of media outlets, including Radio Cairo in English, ETV News, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) and the Associated Press. He joined VOA in Feb. 1989 as an International Broadcaster, hosting a variety of popular news and entertainment shows such as Newshour, Radio Ride Across America, Business Week, and Jazz Club USA. He has interviewed a number of Jazz celebrities, including the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, Ramsey Lewis, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Diaa is currently an editor for our main English site,

One response to “Spalding Donates Nobel Dress to Women in Jazz Initiative”



VOA’s music bloggers bring you info about all kinds of music. Katherine Cole will keep you up-to-date on the world of Bluegrass and Americana music while Ray McDonald rocks the Pop charts and artists. Diaa Bekheet  jams with you on Jazz.  Visit us often. Your comments are welcome.



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