Esperanza Spalding can officially add Harvard Professor to her long list of accolades.
The talented Afro-Latina songstress is best known for her breathy, expressive tones, and her incredible abilities as a jazz bassist. In 2011 she upset a whole bunch of Beliebers when she shocked the world and became the first jazz artist to win the Grammy for Best New Artist, despite being less popular than the tween sensation. She went on to win another three Grammy’s a few years later, which we’re sure look real nice in her trophy case along with her NAACP Image Award, her Soul Train Award, and the Frida Khalo Award just to name a few.
The diverse artist is no stranger to the profession of teaching. She graduated Berklee’s College of Music in Boston in 2005 and immediately landed a teaching gig…at Berklee. At 20 years year old she was one of the colleges youngest professors ever. She maintained her position for three years before focusing on music full time.
In the spring, she’s picking up her specs again to instruct students in a range of courses including arranging, songwriting, improvisation, and performance.
Harvard is just as excited as the students to have her join their ranks. “Esperanza is a superstar performer” The head of the the music department, Suzannah Clark said. “Not only does she sing and play multiple instruments, she’s multilingual and writes her own lyrics. There is a great thirst amongst current students at Harvard for courses in songwriting and music video, in both improvised and composed formats. Esperanza brings a formidable experience and dazzling range of stylistic capacities in these areas.”
Since the tenure of Professor of Practice lasts 5 years, incoming students have more than enough time to learn musicianship from a bonafide master of music.
If you could ask Professor Spalding any question, what would it be?
Let us know in the comments below!