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Esperanza Spaulding

Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Musician

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 Esperanza Spaulding Biography

Spalding was born and raised on what she calls “the other side of the tracks” in a multi-lingual household and neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Growing up in a single-parent home amid economically adverse circumstances, she learned early lessons in the meaning of perseverance and moral character from the role model whom she holds in the highest regard to this day -- her mother.

However, the one pursuit that made sense to Spalding from a very early age was music. At age four, after watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," the roadmap was suddenly very clear. “That was when I realized that I wanted to do something musical,” she says. “It was definitely the thing that hipped me to the whole idea of music as a creative pursuit.”

Berklee College of Music was the place where the pieces all came together and doors started opening. After a move to the opposite coast and three years of accelerated study, she not only earned a B.M., but also signed on as an instructor in 2005 at the age of 20 -- an appointment that has made her one of the youngest faculty member in the history of the college. She was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

Spalding’s journey as a solo artist began with the May 2008 release of "Esperanza," her debut recording for Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, which went on to become the best selling album by a new jazz artist internationally in 2008. The highly acclaimed release was the first opportunity for a worldwide audience to witness her mesmerizing talents as an instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. The New York Times raved, “'Esperanza' has got a lot: accomplished jazz improvisation, funk, scat singing, Brazilian vernacular rhythm and vocals in English, Portuguese and Spanish. At its center is a female bassist, singer and bandleader, one whose talent is beyond question.”

Soon after release, "Esperanza" went straight to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart where it remained for over 70 weeks. Spalding was booked on the "Late Show with David Letterman," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "the CBS Saturday Early Show," "the Tavis Smiley Show," Austin City Limits and National Public Radio. Other highlights included two appearances at the White House, a Banana Republic ad campaign, the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2009 Jazz Award for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, the 2009 JazzWeek Award for Record of the Year, and many high profile tour dates, including Central Park SummerStage in New York and the Newport Jazz Festival. 2009 was capped by an invitation from President Obama to perform at both the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway -- where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded -- and also at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

And as well as being on the road with her own band, Esperanza has toured with Joe Lovano, and has also performed with pianist McCoy Tyner.

In early 2010, Spalding was the subject of an in-depth profile in The New Yorker, she was also featured in the May 2010 Anniversary issue of O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Women on the Rise” (in a fashion spread that features portraits of 10 women who are making a difference in various careers), and she was again nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for their 2010 Jazz Award for Up and Coming Artist of the Year.

If "Esperanza" marked a brilliant beginning for this gifted young artist, then Spalding’s August 2010 release, "Chamber Music Society," sets her on an upward trajectory to prominence. Inspired by the classical training of her younger years, Spalding has created a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical chamber music traditions. Co-produced by Esperanza and Gil Goldstein (with string arrangements provided by both), "Chamber Music Society" finds Esperanza with a diverse assembly of musicians: pianist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Quintino Cinalli, guitarist Ricardo Vogt, and vocalists Gretchen Parlato and the legendary Milton Nascimento. The string trio is comprised of violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin and cellist David Eggar.

Esperanza has presented this album with a number of tours across the USA and Europe, as well as travelling to Japan to play at the Blue Note club in Tokyo and also down to the Cape Town Jazz Festival in South Africa. The album has also been supported with TV appearances on the top American late night chat shows, such as David Letterman and Jay Leno.

In February 2011 in Los Angeles, Esperanza received one of the music industry’s most prestigious prizes, the Grammy for Best New Artist. As Esperanza later said, she was surprised and also grateful to receive this award. It had been a very special day, as earlier on Esperanza has co-hosted the pre-telecast with Bobby McFerrin and also performed with the Grammy Jazz Ensemble.

Chamber Music Society is the third album by Spalding. After her surprise Grammy win, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 at number 34 with sales of 18,000.

Spalding was the best-selling contemporary jazz artist of 2011, and her album Chamber Music Society was the best-selling contemporary jazz album.

In February 2012, Spalding performed at the 84th Academy Awards, singing the Louis Armstrong standard What a Wonderful World, alongside the Southern California Children's Chorus to accompany the video montage that celebrated the film industry greats who died in 2011 and early 2012.

Radio Music Society is Spalding's fourth studio album, released by Heads Up International in March 2012. Spalding hoped this album would showcase jazz musicians in an accessible manner suitable for mainstream radio, while incorporating her own musical compositions with covers of such artists as the Beach Boys and Wayne Shorter.

Spalding also made guest appearances during this time, appearing on Janelle Monáe's 2013 album, The Electric Lady, on the track "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes". She also sang a jazz duet on Bruno Mars' album, Unorthodox Jukebox, called "Old & Crazy". In November 2013, Spalding released a single "We Are America" to protest the Guantánamo prison camps, with cameo performances by Stevie Wonder and Harry Belafonte.

In March 2016, she released her fifth studio album, Emily's D+Evolution, released by Concord Records. The album was co-produced by Spalding and longtime David Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti. On the album, Spalding sings through the alter ego of Emily, which is her middle name.

In December 2017, Spalding released Exposure, which is her sixth studio album. For this project, she embarked on a creative experiment beginning on September 12, 2017, setting out to create the album from start to finish in 77 consecutive hours, while streaming the whole creative process live on Facebook.

Once completed, she released 7,777 limited edition recordings of the album. The packaging of the physical album included a piece of the original notepaper Esperanza used to write the lyrics and music, allowing those who witnessed the process to own a piece of the creation itself, directly from the source. About the experiment, Spalding stated that it being live forced her to be more creative, because there was no option to return to the same thing and try again.

She appeared on the NOVA production The Great Math Mystery, talking about the connection between music and mathematics.

From October 7 to October 18, 2018, Spalding released twelve tracks - one per day - that, in unity, form her seventh studio album, 12 Little Spells. Each "spell" was accompanied by a music video released on her official YouTube channel and correlates to a singular body part. Spalding described the album's experimental structure as a result of her gradual distancing from the title of an "artist", gravitating towards a concept-driven identity.

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  • HOW TO BOOK Esperanza Spaulding?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Esperanza Spaulding for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Esperanza Spaulding, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Esperanza Spaulding or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Esperanza Spaulding?

    Booking fees for Esperanza Spaulding, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Esperanza Spaulding, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Esperanza Spaulding?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Esperanza Spaulding for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Esperanza Spaulding for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Esperanza Spaulding or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Esperanza Spaulding or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

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Esperanza Spaulding

Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Musician

Travels From:
New York, NY, USA
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Esperanza Spaulding Biography

Spalding was born and raised on what she calls “the other side of the tracks” in a multi-lingual household and neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Growing up in a single-parent home amid economically adverse circumstances, she learned early lessons in the meaning of perseverance and moral character from the role model whom she holds in the highest regard to this day -- her mother.

However, the one pursuit that made sense to Spalding from a very early age was music. At age four, after watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of "Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood," the roadmap was suddenly very clear. “That was when I realized that I wanted to do something musical,” she says. “It was definitely the thing that hipped me to the whole idea of music as a creative pursuit.”

Berklee College of Music was the place where the pieces all came together and doors started opening. After a move to the opposite coast and three years of accelerated study, she not only earned a B.M., but also signed on as an instructor in 2005 at the age of 20 -- an appointment that has made her one of the youngest faculty member in the history of the college. She was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

Spalding’s journey as a solo artist began with the May 2008 release of "Esperanza," her debut recording for Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, which went on to become the best selling album by a new jazz artist internationally in 2008. The highly acclaimed release was the first opportunity for a worldwide audience to witness her mesmerizing talents as an instrumentalist, vocalist and composer. The New York Times raved, “'Esperanza' has got a lot: accomplished jazz improvisation, funk, scat singing, Brazilian vernacular rhythm and vocals in English, Portuguese and Spanish. At its center is a female bassist, singer and bandleader, one whose talent is beyond question.”

Soon after release, "Esperanza" went straight to the top of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz chart where it remained for over 70 weeks. Spalding was booked on the "Late Show with David Letterman," "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "the CBS Saturday Early Show," "the Tavis Smiley Show," Austin City Limits and National Public Radio. Other highlights included two appearances at the White House, a Banana Republic ad campaign, the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2009 Jazz Award for Up and Coming Artist of the Year, the 2009 JazzWeek Award for Record of the Year, and many high profile tour dates, including Central Park SummerStage in New York and the Newport Jazz Festival. 2009 was capped by an invitation from President Obama to perform at both the Nobel Prize Ceremony in Oslo, Norway -- where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded -- and also at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

And as well as being on the road with her own band, Esperanza has toured with Joe Lovano, and has also performed with pianist McCoy Tyner.

In early 2010, Spalding was the subject of an in-depth profile in The New Yorker, she was also featured in the May 2010 Anniversary issue of O, The Oprah Magazine’s “Women on the Rise” (in a fashion spread that features portraits of 10 women who are making a difference in various careers), and she was again nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for their 2010 Jazz Award for Up and Coming Artist of the Year.

If "Esperanza" marked a brilliant beginning for this gifted young artist, then Spalding’s August 2010 release, "Chamber Music Society," sets her on an upward trajectory to prominence. Inspired by the classical training of her younger years, Spalding has created a modern chamber music group that combines the spontaneity and intrigue of improvisation with sweet and angular string trio arrangements. The result is a sound that weaves the innovative elements of jazz, folk and world music into the enduring foundations of classical chamber music traditions. Co-produced by Esperanza and Gil Goldstein (with string arrangements provided by both), "Chamber Music Society" finds Esperanza with a diverse assembly of musicians: pianist Leo Genovese, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, percussionist Quintino Cinalli, guitarist Ricardo Vogt, and vocalists Gretchen Parlato and the legendary Milton Nascimento. The string trio is comprised of violinist Entcho Todorov, violist Lois Martin and cellist David Eggar.

Esperanza has presented this album with a number of tours across the USA and Europe, as well as travelling to Japan to play at the Blue Note club in Tokyo and also down to the Cape Town Jazz Festival in South Africa. The album has also been supported with TV appearances on the top American late night chat shows, such as David Letterman and Jay Leno.

In February 2011 in Los Angeles, Esperanza received one of the music industry’s most prestigious prizes, the Grammy for Best New Artist. As Esperanza later said, she was surprised and also grateful to receive this award. It had been a very special day, as earlier on Esperanza has co-hosted the pre-telecast with Bobby McFerrin and also performed with the Grammy Jazz Ensemble.

Chamber Music Society is the third album by Spalding. After her surprise Grammy win, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 at number 34 with sales of 18,000.

Spalding was the best-selling contemporary jazz artist of 2011, and her album Chamber Music Society was the best-selling contemporary jazz album.

In February 2012, Spalding performed at the 84th Academy Awards, singing the Louis Armstrong standard What a Wonderful World, alongside the Southern California Children's Chorus to accompany the video montage that celebrated the film industry greats who died in 2011 and early 2012.

Radio Music Society is Spalding's fourth studio album, released by Heads Up International in March 2012. Spalding hoped this album would showcase jazz musicians in an accessible manner suitable for mainstream radio, while incorporating her own musical compositions with covers of such artists as the Beach Boys and Wayne Shorter.

Spalding also made guest appearances during this time, appearing on Janelle Monáe's 2013 album, The Electric Lady, on the track "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes". She also sang a jazz duet on Bruno Mars' album, Unorthodox Jukebox, called "Old & Crazy". In November 2013, Spalding released a single "We Are America" to protest the Guantánamo prison camps, with cameo performances by Stevie Wonder and Harry Belafonte.

In March 2016, she released her fifth studio album, Emily's D+Evolution, released by Concord Records. The album was co-produced by Spalding and longtime David Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti. On the album, Spalding sings through the alter ego of Emily, which is her middle name.

In December 2017, Spalding released Exposure, which is her sixth studio album. For this project, she embarked on a creative experiment beginning on September 12, 2017, setting out to create the album from start to finish in 77 consecutive hours, while streaming the whole creative process live on Facebook.

Once completed, she released 7,777 limited edition recordings of the album. The packaging of the physical album included a piece of the original notepaper Esperanza used to write the lyrics and music, allowing those who witnessed the process to own a piece of the creation itself, directly from the source. About the experiment, Spalding stated that it being live forced her to be more creative, because there was no option to return to the same thing and try again.

She appeared on the NOVA production The Great Math Mystery, talking about the connection between music and mathematics.

From October 7 to October 18, 2018, Spalding released twelve tracks - one per day - that, in unity, form her seventh studio album, 12 Little Spells. Each "spell" was accompanied by a music video released on her official YouTube channel and correlates to a singular body part. Spalding described the album's experimental structure as a result of her gradual distancing from the title of an "artist", gravitating towards a concept-driven identity.

Esperanza Spaulding Videos

  • Jazz Artist Esperanza Spalding ditched her '9 to 5' job for her passion
  • Esperanza Spalding interview with Todd Zwillich
  • Esperanza Spalding Grooves

Speaker Lists Featuring Esperanza Spaulding

FAQs on booking Esperanza Spaulding

  • How to book Esperanza Spaulding?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Esperanza Spaulding for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Esperanza Spaulding, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Esperanza Spaulding or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Esperanza Spaulding?

    Booking fees for Esperanza Spaulding, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Esperanza Spaulding, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Esperanza Spaulding?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Esperanza Spaulding for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Esperanza Spaulding for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Esperanza Spaulding or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Esperanza Spaulding or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Esperanza Spaulding is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Esperanza Spaulding for your event is available upon request. Esperanza Spaulding generally travels from New York, NY, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Gina Rodriguez, Diane Guerrero, Carlos PenaVega, Dascha Polanco and Rita Moreno. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Esperanza Spaulding for an upcoming event.

Esperanza Spaulding Speaker Videos

  • Jazz Artist Esperanza Spalding ditched her '9 to 5' job for her passion
    Esperanza Spalding interview with Todd Zwillich
  • Esperanza Spalding Grooves
    Esperanza Spalding - I Can't Help It

Esperanza Spaulding News

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Speakers Similar to Esperanza Spaulding

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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