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Esperanza Spalding



Grammy winner comes back to PSU

Esperanza Spalding, named the Best New Artist at the 2011 Grammy Awards, drew a crowd of nearly 300 jazz lovers and musicians on Thursday, Feb. 24 during a master class at Portland State University (PSU).

Spalding, a Portland native, enrolled in PSU's music program in 2000 at 16 years old after earning her GED. She said her experience at PSU was difficult and rigorous, for which she is very thankful.

"It gave me the first taste of how hard music was. Before I came to PSU, it was just fun. It wasn't until I got here that I began to really understand. It made the lifestyle of a jazz musician real to me," she said.

Students from PSU's jazz music program performed for Spalding, and she responded with words of experience and encouragement. Spalding was in town as the Artistic and Community Ambassador for the Portland Jazz Festival.