JazzFest Gal Wins Grammy

Next week brings plenty of chances to see Esperanza Spalding, Portland’s own Best New Artist who beat out Bieber.

By Anne Adams February 14, 2011


In case you haven’t heard already, Culturephile feels compelled to tell you that Esperanza Spalding, a Portland native and Portland Jazz Festival Ambassador, has won the Best New Artist Grammy. Esperanza, 26 and already a superstar by Portland standards, is still a virtual unknown on the world stage, especially compared to her competitor in the category, Canadian pop golden-boy Justin Bieber.

The Grammy committee’s decision to honor her seems a rare deviation from deeply entrenched “industry” status quo. In fact, many of this year’s nominees—Kenny G? STP? Soundgarden? Korn?—are so established that the list as a whole reads more like a table of contents from a 1994 copy of Rolling Stone, than a 2011 music “who’s who.” So extra congratulations, Esperanza (and commendations to Bieber too), for putting a twinkle in Grammy’s eye while you’re still young and happening.


Feb 23
Black History Month reception honoring Portland’s local jazz heritage through music, words and images.
4:30 PM | LOCATION: Portland City Hall (1221 SW 4th Avenue) | FREE

Feb 24
Jazz Conversation: Esperanza Spalding with Tim DuRoche
6:00 PM | LOCATION: The Art Bar | FREE

Feb 25
Jazz Roundtable: Bridges & Boundaries – Jewish & African Americans Playing Jazz / Esperanza Spalding, Anat Cohen, Don Byron, Yuval Cohen & Oran Etkin; Moderated by Darrell Grant
2:00 PM | LOCATION: The Art Bar | FREE

Feb 25
Esperanza Spalding
7:30 PM | LOCATION: Newmark Theater | SOLD OUT! | ARTIST PROFILES: Esperanza Spalding

The Portland Jazz Festival begins this weekend. For more upcoming arts events, visit PoMo’s Arts & Entertainment Calendar, stream content with an RSS feed, or sign up for our weekly On The Town Newsletter!

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