Esperanza Spalding was the big surprise winner for the evening. The jazz bassist, won over Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Drake and the one and only (and the odds on favorite in the category) Justin Beiber.
So who is this Esperanza Spalding?
For being part of the jazz community, she’s quite young. Esperanza Spalding was born in 1984 which makes her just just 26.
She was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in a area a area that she described as “ghetto” and “pretty scary.”
Esperanza Spalding credits her interest in becoming a bass player to seeing the great cellist Yo Yo Ma on Mister Rodger’s Neighborhood at the age of four.
At the young age of five she taught herself to play the violin, playing in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon until she was 15.
She went on to play the bass, after played the cello and realized she loved it and wrote and performed songs for the band Noise for Pretend.
After graduating from college, she got a very prestigious gig, she was hired as a professor at the Berklee College of Music and became the youngest professor in the history of the school. And she was just 20.