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Esperanza Spalding Wins Smithsonian Magazine’s Ingenuity Award

Bassist, vocalist, composer and bandleader Esperanza Spalding has won a Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Award in the category of performing arts. The first annual Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards honor nine groundbreaking individuals in technology, performing and visual arts, natural and physical sciences, education, historical scholarship, social progress and youth achievement. The awards, designed by Pulitzer Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne, were presented at a gala event at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC on November 28, 2012.

“The Smithsonian has a long tradition of showcasing American ingenuity – in our collections we have Edison’s light bulb, the Wright Brother’s flyer, Henry Ford’s Model T, Steve Jobs’s Apple computer,” says Smithsonian Magazine Editor-in-Chief Michael Caruso. “That’s the spirit we wanted to capture in our pages, the people working today who are shaping the world of tomorrow.”

Among the presenters at the American Ingenuity Awards gala event was jazz legend Herbie Hancock, who presented the performing arts award to Spalding and said, “She is magnificent and poetic.”  Spalding also performed at the gala.

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