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2011 Readers’ Favorite Bassists – #4: Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding

2011 was a monster year for Esperanza Spalding. She made bassists proud (and millions of teenage girls super sad/mad) by beating out Justin Bieber for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Esperanza was also the first jazz artist to win the award in decades.

During the Grammy Awards, Esperanza teamed up with Bobby McFerrin for a memorable duet performance.

The bassist also performed on Terri Lynne Carrington’s The Mosaic Project, released in 2011.

We’re also hearing news about a new Esperanza album coming in early 2012, and expect big things to continue to happen with this exciting bassist.

Check out our complete Esperanza Spalding archive.

2011 Top 5 Most Viewed Esperanza Spalding-Focused Features:

Esperanza Spalding: I Know You Know / Smile Like That Live

1. Esperanza Spalding: I Know You Know / Smile Like That Live

Here’s a great clip of Esperanza Spalding sporting a Fender fretless and performing live in San Sebastian on July 23, 2009.

Esperanza Spalding and Bobby McFerrin Duet at Grammys

2. Esperanza Spalding and Bobby McFerrin Duet at Grammys

Here’s an electrifying clip of Best New Artist Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding with vocal phenom Bobby McFerrin performing at the Grammy pre-telecast ceremony, which they co-hosted. Esperanza’s playing is a great mix of jazzy and funky, and McFerrin deserves bonus points for picking up the bass line while she takes a solo halfway through.

Esperanza Spalding: Wild Is The Wind, Live

3. Esperanza Spalding: Wild Is The Wind, Live

Esperanza Spalding leads this beautiful performance of “Wild Is The Wind”, filmed live in San Sebastian in 2009. The tune is from Esperanza’s Chamber Music Society. This one has it all.

Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato: Useless Landscape (Inutil Paisagem)

4. Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato: Useless Landscape (Inutil Paisagem)

Today is Esperanza Spalding‘s birthday. What better way to help celebrate than with another awesome video by the bassist who beat Justin Bieber? Here, Esperanza performs a beautiful duet with Gretchen Parlato on the Antonio Carlos Jobim tune, “Useless Landscape (Inutil Paisagem)” Happy birthday, Esperanza!

Esperanza Spalding and Stanley Clarke Among 2011 Grammy Winning Bassists

5. Esperanza Spalding and Stanley Clarke Among 2011 Grammy Winning Bassists

It was another great year for bass players at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, held February 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The big win of the night came for Esperanza Spalding, who beat out Justin Bieber and others to be the first jazz artist in decades to win the Grammy for…

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