Esperanza Spalding Receives Three Grammy Nominations

Esperanza Spalding
Esperanza Spalding

Photo by Scott Preston

Bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding became the first jazz musician to receive the GRAMMY®Award for Best New Artist on February 13, 2011, at the 53rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards.

Spalding has now received 3 GRAMMY® nominations for her chart topping album Radio Music Society, as announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) on December 5, 2012. All nominations were for albums released from October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. Winners will be announced at the 55th Annual GRAMMY® Awards on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 8:00 PM ET/PT from Staples Center in Los Angeles, airing live on the CBS Television Network.

Here are her nominations:

32. Best Jazz Vocal Album
Esperanza Spalding
[Heads Up International]

61. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)
“City Of Roses”
Thara Memory & Esperanza Spalding, arrangers (Esperanza Spalding)
Track from: Radio Music Society
[Heads Up International]

81. Best Long Form Music Video
Esperanza Spalding
Pilar Sanz, video director; Esperanza Spalding, video producer
[Heads Up International / Montuno Producciones S.L.]

On March 20th, 2012, Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group, released Spalding’s, Radio Music Society, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Chart, her most diverse, ambitious and masterful recital yet. 11 songs are accompanied by conceptual short films, which further express Esperanza’s inspiration and story behind each track. These short films together create an entire film of 72 minutes.

Radio Music Society the film has recently won 2nd place and a special mention at the Music Clip Festival in Barcelona, Spain.

The short film for the selection “Hold on Me,” a narrative of unrequited love, inspired by people who cling to dreams of relationships that can never be realized, was recently screened at the Siren Festival in her hometown of Portland, Oregon..

The short film for the selection of “City of Roses,” a celebration of her native Portland, has been nominated at the international music video festival  Fivecc12 in Alicante, Spain. The song features two Portland-based musicians, Janice Scroggins and Dr. Thara Memory – both provided essential mentorship in Spalding’s youth. Memory, Esperanza’s mentor and teacher shares with her the recognition of arranger in the nomination. The selections features the American Music Program a youth jazz ensemble conducted by Memory.

Shot in various locations including New York City; Barcelona, Spain; and Portland, Oregon; all videos are available to purchasers of Radio Music Society as a digital download or a DVD on the deluxe version. Both can be found at

Radio Music Society is a companion, rather than a sequel, to Spalding’s previous disc. “Originally I thought it would be fun to release a double album,” she explains, “One disc with an intimate, subtle exploration of chamber works and a second one in which jazz musicians explore song forms and melodies that are formatted more along the lines of what we would categorize as “pop songs.”  Those are the two things that really interest me, and it intrigues me to think about different presentation approaches while writing each kind of song.  On the pop song side, I think about listeners who aren’t into jazz, but I also think about the people within my musical community who can interpret each idea best.”

Among its many strengths, Radio Music Society is a celebration of the men and women who have helped cultivate Spalding’s talent, as well as those who have nurtured her vision and inspired her along the way.