LOS ANGELES Portland jazz artist and new Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding got a big welcome home when she returned to the Rose City to perform in the annual Jazz Festival.

Esperanza was the guest of honor Wednesday night at the History, Hope &Harmony event, which was a tribute to Portland's jazz heritage and also part of Black History Month.

The talented bassist, who grew up in Portland, will perform at the Newmark Theater Friday night and her show has already sold out.

Esperanza won Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards earlier this month. She beat out young superstar Justin Bieber for the top honor.

Photos: Grammy Awards

Esperanza was raised by a single mom in Northeast Portland.

The star's bio said that she has attributed her inspiration for pursuing a life in music to watching classical cellist Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood when she was four. And by the time she was five, she had taught herself to play the violin and was playing with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon.

Spalding attended King Elementary School in Northeast Portland and high school at the prestigious performing arts high school, The Northwest Academy. But she left high school at 16 and, after completing her GED, enrolled on a music scholarship in the music program at Portland State University, where her bio said she remembers being the youngest bass player in the program.

PSUJazz Studies professor Darrell Grant said he remembers her well. She was a very level-headed person with a strong sense of herself and purpose, he said.

Background: Portland star wins big at Grammys

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