Terence Blanchard Opens Festival

Posted on by pdxjazz

Terence Blanchard will perform during the Portland Jazz Festival for the first time in 2009.

If you’ve seen the film, Inside Man, 25th Hour, Barbershop, Summer of Sam or this month’s blockbuster hit Cadillac Records, then you are already familiar with Terence Blanchard. This internationally celebrated jazz trumpeter and bandleader has scored more than 27 films, and released more than 17 albums, which have earned him countless awards including three Grammys, a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award.

Terence BlanchardThe past two years have been incredibly productive for him on a number of levels. Blanchard’s most recent album, A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), is a 13-track emotional tour of anger, rage, compassion, melancholy and beauty. The Grammy-Award-wining album features Blanchard’s quintet, as well as a 40-member string orchestra. This is his third release for Blue Note Records since signing with the label in 2003. He has released two other critically acclaimed albums, Bounce and Flow, the latter of which was produced by Herbie Hancock and nominated for two Grammys in 2006.

Blanchard has composed scores for every Spike Lee joint requiring original music since Jungle Fever in 1991. Blanchard scored Lee’s most recent film, Miracle at St. Anna, and in 2006, When The Levees Broke, which documents the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Blanchard’s haunting and intensely personal score is expressive of his own experience in the disaster. ” We’re all still digesting what went on and what continues to happen. It’s like an unending story. For me, like so many others, it’s taken me a moment to get my mind around all of this. I knew I needed to express this musically to keep the story alive, but so many important things-the safety of family members, figuring out how to rebuild my mother’s house-never allowed me the time to breathe for a minute.”


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While working on A Tale of God’s Will, Blanchard also played a pivotal role in the moving of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz from Los Angeles to New Orleans, a move that as Artistic Director he feels will benefit not only the city of New Orleans, but the students themselves who will be surrounded by the ever-present rich diversity of music in the Crescent City.

This award-winning trumpeter, bandleader and composer, while celebrated worldwide, is no stranger to jazz festivals. Blanchard has performed in jazz festivals in Vitoria, Spain, London, England, Heidelberg, Germany, and in several American festivals in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Orleans and California. Blanchard will be participating in The Portland Jazz Festival for the first time in 2009. He will be performing selections from his album A Tale of God’s Will with his quintet on Friday, February 13 in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.. As a current Blue Note recording artist, Blanchard’s performance will kick of the North American celebration of Blue Note Records’ 70th anniversary.

Blanchard will also be arriving in town a little early to perform the National Anthem at the Rose Garden on February 11, when the Portland Trail Blazers take on the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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