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Tag: Esperanza Spalding (1-5 of 5)

Esperanza Spalding: Who is the surprise Best New Artist?

Esperanza-SpaldingImage Credit: Sandrine LeeFor Esperanza Spalding, the jazz bassist-singer named Best New Artist at Sunday’s Grammys (much to the shock of Justin Bieber fans, some of whom attacked Spalding’s Wikipedia page in protest), just being in the category was an honor. “I certainly did not expect to even be considered for that type of nomination, me being a little old jazz musician and everything,” she told EW in December after the nominees were announced. “Everybody and their mother-law started texting me and saying, ‘Oh my God!'” READ FULL STORY

What was Grammy's biggest surprise?

eminemImage Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.comLast night’s Grammy ceremony was full of surprising twists that enlivened the performances and had a major impact on the awards. Esperanza Spalding won for Best New Artist, upsetting box-office superstar Justin Bieber, Drake and Mumford and Sons. Arcade Fire lost to the Black Keys for Best Alternative Music Album, but then rebounded to edge Eminem for Album of the Year. Shady, who had been nominated for 10 awards, had to settle for only two trophies, for Rap Album and Rap Solo Performance. (Maybe that’s why he dropped that F-bomb during “Love the Way You Lie.”) And then there was Lady Gaga arriving in an egg, and then sporting a set of horns; Christina Aguilera nearly tumbled; and Cee-Lo’s outfit was a feathery rainbow connection. So many twists and shockers, but what would you say was the biggest? Vote below. READ FULL STORY

Grammy Awards 2011: Backstage with Justin Bieber, Usher, Esperanza Spalding, Matthew Morrison, and many more

esparanza-spaldingImage Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty ImagesAs you might imagine, backstage at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards is a press feeding frenzy, with golden gramophone winners — and even some presenters — parading behind-the-scenes to various media outlets to take their questions and revel in the celebratory mood of the evening. The bold-faced names trek from the radio press to TV shows like Extra and — you guessed it — even us here in the print and online world. I resided backstage for the show and waited for folks like Esperanza Spalding, Usher, Justin Bieber, Train, and Matthew Morrison to come and bask with the reporters for a bit. Here’s what minute-by-minute account of what transpired:

6:15 P.M. PT: The band Train, winners for Best Pop Performance By a Duo or Group with Vocals for their smash single “Hey, Soul Sister,” are both the first winners of the evening and the first winners to come backstage for the evening. The first question for the group is about their surprising comeback last year with “Soul Sister.” “We’ve been through a lot, and to be here after so many years, it’s such an honor to be nominated,” says vocalist Patrick Monahan. “This was a beautiful comeback nomination. We feel we have many more albums to come that are going to be better. To have won this makes up for things that didn’t even exist.”

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Q-Tip talks 2011 plans: A multilingual new album, collaborating with Drake, and more

Q-tip-musicianImage Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage.comQ-Tip is making big plans for the coming year. The sometime A Tribe Called Quest rapper phoned the Music Mix earlier today to fill us in on all the projects he has on the way, including a new solo album recorded in English, Spanish, and French. He’s calling it The Last Zulu, and ideally he hopes to complete three separate versions of the set (one for each language).

“I feel like my fans have been so gracious over the years,” Q-Tip says. “They’re so smart that I want to extend the grace back to them and speak to them in their tongues.” One slight problem: The Abstract Poetic is fluent in neither French nor Spanish. “I’m going to have to brush up!”

He plans to start seriously focusing on The Last Zulu in February, with a tentative release target of late 2011/early 2012. Here’s hoping it doesn’t fall victim to the label shenanigans that delayed 2008’s The Renaissance for so long.

So far Q-Tip has a few rough ideas for songs and a general concept involving vintage rhythms. “It’s going to take us back to the days of when it was breakbeats, when [Grandmaster] Flash and [Afrika] Bambaataa was throwing on them hard beats. It’s going to have a lot of that energy, and it’s going to feel really big and anthemic. It’s going to be unlike anything I’ve done before.” READ FULL STORY

Who is Esperanza Spalding? Jazz singer talks surprise Best New Artist Grammy nomination, being friends with Prince, and more

Esperanza-SpaldingImage Credit: Sandrine LeeIt was late Wednesday night when Esperanza Spalding‘s cell phone began buzzing. “Everybody and their mother-law started texting me and saying, ‘Oh my God!'” says the jazz bassist-singer, 26. They were congratulating her for scoring a Best New Artist nomination in this year’s Grammy race. “I certainly did not expect to even be considered for that type of nomination, me being a little old jazz musician and everything.”

Spalding is both pleased and bemused by the attention. “I mean, for jazz musicians, usually the recognition comes from your peers,” she says. “If someone that you really respect artistically likes your record, that’s all the award you need. But it is meaningful, and I don’t want to act like it’s nothing, that someone outside of my little jazz circle knows about me and wanted to acknowledge me.”

Her fellow nominees this year are Drake, Justin Bieber, Florence + the Machine, and Mumford & Sons. Although Spalding is only well versed in one of those artists’ music (“I think Drake is really incredible”), she’s no snob. “A lot of musicians who consider themselves intellectual artists sometimes look down their noses at people who have a lot of commercial success,” she notes. “They don’t remember how much really hard work it is to be a commercially successful entertainer. So even if I’m not familiar with their music, I respect their hard work. Now I have to go check them out some more.” READ FULL STORY

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