Esperanza Spalding is an upright bassist and vocalist from Portland, Oregon who combines threads of neo soul and bossa nova into her jazz fusion sound. After studying at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and releasing her debut studio album Junjo, in 2006, she rose to recognition as a fresh new force of contemporary jazz with the release of her sophomore LP, Esperanza, in 2008. Defying preconceived notions of popular music, she took the 2011 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, beating pop sensations like Justin Bieber and solidifying the fact that raw talent and pure soul still hold weight in the music industry.
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