Meet Esperanza Spalding

WHO IS ESPERANZA SPALDING? In the tradition of such leftfield Grammy Best New Artist nominees as Ledisi (’08), Imogen Heap (’07) and Heather Hedley (’04), this year’s just-announced crop boasts Esperanza Spalding, who seemingly came out of nowhere to nab one of the five slots alongside such expected competition as Justin Bieber, Drake, Mumford & Sons and Florence + the Machine. Spalding is a 26-year-old Portland, OR-born multi-instrumentalist jazz stand-up bassist/ singer/composer and Berklee College professor, probably best-known for being invited by President Obama to play at the December 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway. Spalding has been on critics’ radar for a number of years, with three albums, ‘06’s Junjo, ‘08’s Esperanza and this year’s “Chamber Music Society," the last two on the indie Heads Up International label, dsitributed through the Concord Music Group. She’s of African-American, Welsh and Spanish descent. (12/2p)

ON THE BMM COVER:
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KEN & FRIENDS FILL THE FORUM
High times in Inglewood (6/20a)
BEADS! FEEDS! TIKTOK EXPANDS TAY'S ERAS TOUR HUB
Collect 'em all (6/20a)
FESTIVAL FORECAST: IT'S MUDDY OUT THERE
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WELCOME TO ATLANTA
Black Music Month in the ATL (6/18a)
THE GRAMMY SHORT LIST
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AI IS ALREADY EATING YOUR LUNCH
The kids can tell the difference... for now.
INDIE DISTRIBUTION'S RISE TO GLORY
The discovery engine is revving higher.
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