Esperanza Spalding (born 1984, Portland, Oregon) is an American multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz bassist and singer, who draws upon many genres in her own compositions. Spalding began performing live in clubs in Portland as a teenager, securing her first gig at 15 in a blues club when she could only play one line on bass.
Spalding has recorded three albums “Junjo” (2006), “Esperanza” (2008) and “Chamber Music Society” (2010). Though Junjo was released solely under her name, it is considered a collaborative effort. With “Esperanza,” Spalding sang in three different languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese. The album reached #2 on the Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, #3 on the Jazz Albums chart and #40 on the Top Independent Albums chart. “Chamber Music Society” marked her first entry on the Billboard 200 chart, reaching #107 as well as #3 on the Jazz Albums and #1 on the Top Heatseekers Albums chart.
In addition to these albums, Spalding has collaborated with Fourplay, Stanley Clarke, Christian Scott, Donald Harrison, Joe Lovano, Nino Josele, Nando Michelin, Theresa Perez, Mike Stern and M.Ward.
At the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, Spalding performed at Oslo City Hall in honor of the 2009 Laureate President Barack Obama and again at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert the following day. In 2011, she won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist at the 53rd Grammy Awards, making her the first jazz artist to win the award.