Feb 14, 2011 at 10:26pm IST

Esperanza Spalding: 10 things you didn't know

New Delhi: Not many have heard of Esperanza Spalding, a 26-year-old jazz bassist and singer who grabbed the limelight at the Grammys on Sunday by winning the Best New Artist title.

Here are 10 things you didn't know about Esperanza Spalding:

1. Born on October 18, 1984, Esperanza Spalding is an American multi-instrumentalist best known as a jazz bassist and singer. Spalding is of African-American, Welsh and Spanish descent.

Esperanza Spalding: 10 things you didn't know

There's a new kid on the block: Esperanza Spalding.

2. By the time Spalding was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon. Spalding stayed with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon until she was fifteen and left as concertmaster.

3. Spalding found high school "easy and boring" and dropped out.

4. Spalding was the 2005 recipient of the Boston Jazz Society scholarship for outstanding musicianship.

5. Almost immediately after graduation from college later the same year, Spalding was hired by Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest professors in the institution's history, at age 20.

6. On December 10, at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremonies, Spalding performed at Oslo City Hall in honor of the 2009 Laureate President Barack Obama and again at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert the following day.

7. When she was 15 or 16 years old, Spalding started writing lyrics for music for the local indie rock/pop group Noise for Pretend, touching on any topic that came to mind. Although she had taken a few private voice lessons which taught her how to protect her voice, her primary singing experience had come from "singing in the shower", she said.

8. Spalding also was the featured final act for the opening night of the 2009 Park City Jazz Festival in Park City, Utah, one of the top jazz festivals in the country.

9. As a teacher, Spalding tries to help her students focus their practice through a practice journal which can help them recognize their strengths and what they need to pursue.

10. Spalding is the first jazz artist to win the Grammy for Best New Artist.

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