From Esperanza Spalding, 15th Feb 2011
I can hardly express what a surprise and a thrill it was Sunday night to receive my first Grammy. In the category of Best New Artist no less. I was and am totally surprised. This is really so un-believable. I am still overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for all of the people who believed in my music and who voted for me. This is a truly inspiring moment!
People have been asking me what significance being a jazz artist particularly brings to the award. We all know that jazz artists aren’t typically nominated in this category, so that alone is special about the award this year.
But, mainly I hope this will be significant in that the Esperanza focused spotlight of the media’s eye will illuminate more than just an edge of the HUGE breadth of all that is happening in jazz music as a whole right now. Probably, my music is a perfect example of why the expression “jazz as a whole” makes no sense! Many non-jazz fans have an association with the music that wouldn’t fit my work. Someone who saw the telecast and says ” Esperanza who?” might go to check out my record, well the next record they thumb through in the S’s at the jazz section will be completely different. That’s what makes the music so exciting, and I bet people who don’t consider themselves jazz lovers would love a lot of what’s happening right now if they just got a chance to hear it. Which would of course require the music and artists to get some more publicity…So may this bright moment for me, also be a bright moment for my colleagues.
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