While she still may be more famous for beating out Justin Beiber for Best New Artist last year, in the jazz world, Esperanza Spalding is recognized as one of the great young talents. When I attended one of her (fantastic) concerts in Houston, she talked a bit about how she splits her time between making music that appeals to the jazz world and music that appeals to a wider audience. From her Wiki:
Spalding left high school at 16 and, after completing her GED, enrolled on a music scholarship in the music program at Portland State University, where she remembers being "the youngest bass player in the program". Although she lacked the training of her fellow students, she feels that her teachers nevertheless recognized her talent. She decided to instead apply to Berklee College of Music on the encouragement of her bass teacher, and did well enough in her audition to receive a full scholarship...Almost immediately after graduation from college later the same year, Spalding was hired by Berklee College of Music, becoming one of the youngest instructors in the institution's history, at age 20.
Since her young teaching days, she has put out 4 albums. Additionally, she's been a frequent guest of President Obama, performing at everything from his Nobel Prize Ceremony (where the winner gets to select one artist to perform) to this event held at the White House to honor Stevie Wonder for his Library of Congress Gershwin Prize. Enjoy!