She was awarded for her groundbreaking compositions at the first annual Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards. Artists in all categories, including technology, performing and visual arts, natural and physical sciences, education, historical scholarship, social progress and youth achievement were also recognized at a gala event at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on November 28.
Herbie Hancock presented the award to Spalding, and said, “She is magnificent and poetic.”
Since stepping out onto the scene, Spalding has created a genre all her own, fascinating millions and winning over audiences with all types of musical interests. She’s been recently dubbed the “First Lady of Jazz,” and has played with Stevie Wonder for President Barack Obama.