Saturday, 05 March 2011 14:57

There's no music here but we've been thinking for awhile and figured that we'd take some time to put down something about Esperanza Spalding. Regular readers of our blog will know that we've been a fan of her's for awhile and told readers of her music here before.

Way back in 2009 we first introduced our readers to Spadling and her music and since then have attempted keep you up on her goings on. By now you must know that she beat out Justin Beiber for Best New Artist and that thrills us... Kind of. You know that feeling you have when you know of a great beach, bar, restaurant, store that no one else is up on and it means that you can enjoy it all on your own? That's our feeling with Esperanza Spalding and now the secret is out. Esperanza's Chamber Music Society is back in the top 100 of Amazon and iTunes sales and while we are happy for her we're sad for us, we just hope that she doesn't get all commercial on us because we love her just as she is.

On a side note if you are wondering how an artist with albums out in 2009 gets best new artist in 2011? The official guidelines are as follows: For a new artist who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist. Note that this is not necessarily the first album released by an artist.

Lady GaGa was excluded from the Best New Artist category because her single Just Dance had been nominated the previous year for Best Dance Recording. After a Lady GaGa snub for the Best New Artist award the rules have changed. Now there is an alteration in their laws which allows acts to be eligible for the Best New Artist category, "if an artist/group is nominated (but does not win) for the release of a single or as a featured artist or collaborator on a compilation or other artist's album before the artist/group has released an entire album (and becomes eligible in this category for the first time). In an explanatory statement, the Academy noted, "More and more, the first release of a new artist is as a featured artist on someone else’s album or, the new artist may release a single long before the release of his/her/their entire first album. By current rules, if the other artist’s album or the new artist’s single receives a nomination, the new artist may never have the opportunity to compete in the Best New Artist category. With this change, each artist will have at least one opportunity to enter in this important and highly visible category."

Also of note is that Best New Artist is the only category in which a Grammy Award was revoked. This occurred in 1990 after it was revealed winners Milli Vanilli did not do their own vocals on their debut album. The award was revoked, but was not handed out to another artist. You may have also heard that Esperanza was the first jazz artist to win the award and thought what about Norah Jones? Apparently Norah Jones is not a Jazz artist, so go and categorize all of her albums as something else. We guess what they mean is that Norah Jones doesn't only do Jazz? Whatever, it's cool; she's jazz to us. By the way I wouldn't exactly put Ms. Spalding in a the jazz only section, we enjoy her Neo-Soul/Fusion style. Esperanza is one of those performers who's also and artist that serious about her shit and doesn't fit into a category as easily as she does fit into a category. Doing a Jazz song doesn't make you a Jazz artist anymore than playing basketball makes you a NBA player.

Search for Esperanza Spalding if you want to know more about this musical prodigy.


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