She may have made history at this year’s Grammy Awards by becoming the first jazz musician EVER to win Best New Artist, but Esperanza Spalding hasn’t let the hype change her. Humbly walking onto the unlit stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 5, Spalding turned on a lamp, took off her coat and poured herself a glass of wine, creating an atmosphere of tranquility amidst the whirlwind of activity that’s occurred in these few weeks since then. Having read Esperanza’s bio detailing how she first decided she wanted to be a musician at age four after watching Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, I couldn’t help but feel that her “arrival” was a small tribute to the daily ritual he performed at the start of every episode.
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Fresh off her win for Best New Artist at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards (and all the Bieber controversy that surrounded it), Esperanza Spalding will be playing at the historic Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway on March 5th.