Esperenza Spalding to receive Brettell Award in UT Dallas

The Grammy Award Winner and Jazz Musician Esperenza Spalding will receive the Brettell Award in Dallas with a prize of $150,000 and she will also perform with Dallas Symphony Orchestra for a special concert according to a Dallas Morning News article from December 3 which reports, 


“Esperanza Spalding is a four-time Grammy Award winner, a performer so versatile and accomplished that National Public Radio once described her as “the 21st century’s jazz genius.”


And now, a new accolade: She’s the winner of the 2021 Richard Brettell Award in the Arts, bestowed every two years by the University of Texas at Dallas. That means Spalding, 37, is the third honoree to land the $150,000 prize.


Launched by Brettell, the late UTD administrator and rainmaker who for five years doubled as art critic of The Dallas Morning News, the biennial award targets premier talents in the visual arts, music, literature, performance and architecture/design. As with previous winners, Spalding will fly to Dallas in the spring for a three-day visit to the Richardson campus.


However, there’s a bonus: She and her band will perform in a concert in March presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Strauss Square, the outdoor venue in the Dallas Arts District.”


Esperanza Spalding, aside from her Grammy, have achieved so many things despite her young age and even now, continues to share her talent by performing and teaching according to a UT Dallas article from November 24 which reports, 


“Spalding has toured and performed with jazz and pop legends, and played for former President Barack Obama three times. In 2009, she performed at his Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and concert at his request.


Spalding serves as a professor of the practice of music at Harvard University, where she leads the Sonic Healing Lab. Her lab brings together musicians and medical researchers to inform positive health outcomes and provides a structure for the development of community-focused performance methodologies.


“Esperanza Spalding was an inspired choice for the Brettell Award,” said Dr. Inga Musselman, UT Dallas provost, vice president for academic affairs and the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership. “She is globally recognized as a jazz visionary, bringing diversity, imagination and excellence to the music world. Our students are in for a treat when they get to meet her next spring.”


At present, Spalding have already released eight studio albums since 2006 and has just finished a multiyear project with her mentor and composer Wayne Shorter. 


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