Portland came out smelling like roses at the 55th Annual Grammy awards last Sunday. Singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding copped a pair of Grammys, the first for Best Vocal Jazz Album for Radio Music Society, and the second for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist for the song "City of Roses" from the same record. The latter award is noteworthy not only because it's an affectionate air kiss to her hometown (yay us!) but because it was a collaboration with her longtime musical mentor, Portland trumpeter and teacher Thara Memory, who can now add "Grammy winner" to his lengthy resume.
"City of Roses" also features Memory's students in the American Music Program’s Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra, a local nonprofit musical ensemble. We hope that all this positive publicity will translate into some whopping attendance figures for this month's PDX Jazz Festival which includes a performance by Spalding with the all-female trio ACS on Feb 24!
Here's a touching video snippet of Spalding and Memory backstage at the Grammys.