One of the surest signs that the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) have upped their hipness credentials considerably is this year's huge surprise Grammy winner for Best New Artist, a 26-year-old jazz bassist who just controversially beat out even the seemingly unstoppable Justin Bieber. And that would be Esperanza Spalding--an enormously talented artist whose style and skills are musical first, and--unlike many of her predecessors--by no means intentionally commercial. It's just working out that way.
Spalding, a native of Portland, Oregon, has so far recorded three albums. Her 2010 release, Chamber Music Society, garnered the largest share of public attention, but she remained a relative unknown outside of jazz circles, despite playing with the likes of Prince, Patti Austin, Joe Lovano, Fourplay, and fellow jazz bassist Stanley Clarke, and even performing at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and accompanying concert as the personal selection ofRead More »from Who Is Best New Artist Grammy Winner Esperanza Spalding?