Esperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding at the Clive Davis And The Recording Academy'

Spalding in 2012, photo by s_bukley/

Birth Name: Esperanza Emily Spalding

Place of Birth: Portland, Oregon, U.S.

Date of Birth: October 18, 1984

*father – African-American
*mother – possibly Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American

Esperanza Spalding is an American jazz bassist, singer, songwriter, and composer.

She has said:

I don’t know my exact ethnic heritage, but I do know that my family has Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American roots in addition to the un-identified roots from Africa.


Curious about ethnicity

13 Responses

  1. Akwaba says:

    Her Wikipedia page says that her father is African American and her mother is mixed Welsh, Native American and Hispanic :

  2. Kasey says:

    I think she claimed her “black” heritage by very classily NOT terming it as “black”. She clearly steers away from labeling herself as a color, and goes into what makes her heritage unique –quote: “my family has Welsh, Hispanic, and Native American roots in addition to the un-identified roots from Africa”. She would normally be shunned by the black community for this but she’s too damn good of an artist. I LOVE her very clear message that she will not have one group of people define her.

    • Multiethnicchick says:

      Please, she’s one of the few women of color wearing her natural hair texture. People in the black community could learn from her. A mixed women who’s not afraid to wear her naturally kinky curly hair

  3. countrygrl says:

    I read something that said she was Mexican(mother)and African American(dad); but that she doesn’t claim the black; which I do not understand because it is sooo obvious. Well, not to get off track; I heard she doesn’t claim the black side cause her dad was a “no show” in her life. Boomer

  4. nancy says:

    she is mexican. I like latina over hispanic. hispanic is a made up term by the last pope and does not include our african roots (ie brazil).

  5. sam says:

    you should put spanish instead of hispanic, i think she said esperanza is a spanish name in an interview with E! Entertainment news

    • She isn’t Spanish. Her mother is Mexican. Mexican people speak Spanish which is why she has a Spanish name.

      • ava says:

        so she is mexican of spanish descent

        • SpanishPrincess says:

          Actually no. Any person who comes from a Latin American country will have a Spanish surname despite there descent. She could be of Spanish descent. But her last name doesn’t determine that. It’s just because Latino people speak Spanish. But some Latinoes can have basque, castillian surnames as well. (Provinces in Spain) Doesn’t mean there full Latino make-up is that. Just means years ago the very first person who carried that name was that ethnicity but married, had kids who married other ethnically diverse Latinos, had kids, but passed on the surname even though they were racially mixed.

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