Esperanza Spalding joins Harvard music faculty

JORDANNAH ELIZABETH | 3/7/2019, 4:40 p.m.
Jazz bassist, singer, four-time Grammy winner and scholar Esperanza Spalding has become a member of Harvard University’s music staff.

It is a pleasure to announce that it has been reported that jazz bassist, singer, four-time Grammy winner and scholar Esperanza Spalding has become a member of Harvard University’s music staff.

The Cambridge-based university’s department chair, Suzannah Clark, stated in the Harvard Gazette regarding Spalding and new colleague, flutist Claire Chase, “They signal a commitment to the creative performing arts as a core feature of liberal arts education in the 21st century, and position the department for the musical landscape of the future, while providing Harvard students—and all of us—with bold models for how to live as artists in the world.”

Clark continued in her statement, “Esperanza is a superstar performer: Not only does she sing and play multiple instruments, she’s multilingual and writes her own lyrics, which are often witty and wry and always assuredly profound and perspicacious... 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.”

The 34-year-old artist was accepted as a virtuoso and teacher very early in her career by being the youngest instructor at Berklee College of Music at 20 years old immediately after graduation. She was considered a musical prodigy at age 5, similar to some of the greatest Black women musicians like Nina Simone, shining as a young violinist in the Chamber Music Society of Oregon.

Now Spalding has been invited to lend her extraordinary musical mastery to the students of Harvard University. Spalding is a shining beacon of African-American excellence and she without a doubt has brought and will continue to bring a fresh breath of air to the collegiate institution since her start at the school in 2017.