Trumpet Master Terence Blanchard Opens 2009 Portland Jazz Festival

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Trumpet Master Terence Blanchard Opens 2009 Portland Jazz Festival

Portland, OR – February 6, 2009 – Terence Blanchard’s latest album was born in the eye of a hurricane. The New Orleans native has dedicated his Grammy Award-winning release entitled, A Tale of God’s Will (Requiem for Katrina,) to the city’s devastation, the woeful loss of life, and its effects on him and his community.

Twenty-five years after he first arrived on the jazz scene as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Terence Blanchard is topping the charts as a world-renowned band leader and Golden Globe-nominated film score composer. Blanchard has scored every Spike Lee film requiring original music since 1991, and the films have often inspired some of Blanchard’s most passionate work.

A Tale of God’s Will, Blanchard’s poignant, raw, and evocative musical requiem for Hurricane Katrina, is no exception. The 13-track album stemmed from his work on the score for Lee’s stirring documentary, When The Levees Broke, and features Blanchard’s quintet, along with the 40-piece string orchestra, Northwest Sinfonia, on several tracks.

Blanchard was obviously moved by the tragic events, and his expressive horn work is especially touching. The strings bring forth an ominous, mournful mood, and Blanchard’s trumpet moans and wails with great passion and sharp pain. “Funeral Dirge,” the twelfth track, hauntingly summons images of dead bodies floating, and “Dear Mom,” expresses Blanchard’s indelible lament for his own mother, who lost her home in the devastation.

Larry Blumenfeld for Entertainment Weekly:

“Accompanied by an orchestra, Blanchard’s quintet moves elegantly from African rhythms to modern swing to balladic repose, his horn’s curled pleas and soaring declarations channeling both pain and resilience. It’s the Katrina story CNN can’t tell, masterfully told.”

Chris May for All About Jazz:

“An ambitious and brilliantly executed album, and perhaps Blanchard’s most fully rounded artistic statement to date.”

Geoffrey Himes for the Washington Post:

He succeeds because his melodies are so plangent in their sadness, anger and resilient affection, because his harmonies expand those moods to the epic proportions befitting the theme, and because his New Orleans quintet captures that town’s distinctive rhythmic spirit.”


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