Friday, October 28, 2011

Esperanza Spalding is Named Jazz Artist of the Year for 2011 in Downbeat Reader's Poll

The Readers of DownBeat Magazine voted Esperanza Spalding Jazz Artist of the Year for 2011. The results were published on DownBeat's online site, and will be featured in the December 31st print issue. It is the first time a woman has ever been accorded this honor. In August, Esperanza was also named top Rising Star for Electric Bass in the DownBeat Critic's Poll. She was also named top Rising Star for Acoustic Bassist in the 2010 Critic's Poll.

DownBeat online states: "Esperanza Spalding is the first woman to be named Artist of the Year in a DownBeat Poll. She represents the next generation of terrific artists out there who—in the finest jazz tradition—are looking for new ways to express themselves." 

I have had the pleasure of seeing Esperanza perform twice in the last three weeks here in the Twin Cities area; once with her Chamber Music Society, and once as a member of Joe Lovano's ensemble, US5 (See my post on her Chamber Music Society Show in St. Paul MN here, and her appearance in Hopkins MN, with Joe Lovano and US5 here). Both shows were terrific; Esperanza is charismatic performer and an amazing bassist. I spoke to Joe Lovano after the US5 show, and he said that Esperanza works hard and is an ardent student.

We have a lot to look forward to as Esperanza Spalding's career develops. She has a new CD coming in Spring of 2012, the Radio Music Society. Esperanza Spalding will be around for decades creating great music, drawing people to jazz, and expanding the range of the electric and acoustic bass.

Below are links to the announcement and poll results: 

Esperanza performing her masterpiece, Wintersun: 

Video of Esperanza's Little Fly

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