Blanchard at the 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
|Born||March 13, 1962|
|Origin||New Orleans, Louisiana, USA|
|Genres||Modern Jazz, Hard Bop|
film score writer
|Years active||1980 – Present|
|Associated acts||Art Blakey
Terence Blanchard Quintet featuring
Terence Oliver Blanchard (born March 13, 1962) is an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and Golden Globe-nominated film score composer. Since he emerged on the scene in 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Blanchard has been a leading artist in jazz. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence having recorded several award-winning albums and having performed with the jazz elite. He is known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition but has recently utilized an African-fusion style of playing that makes him unique from other trumpeters on the performance circuit. However, it is as a film composer that Blanchard reaches his widest audience. His trumpet can be heard on nearly fifty film scores; more than forty bear his unmistakable compositional style. Since 2000, Blanchard has served as Artistic Director at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He lives in the Garden District of New Orleans with his wife and four children.
Blanchard was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the only child to parents Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard, a part-time opera singer and insurance company manager. Blanchard began playing piano at the age of five and then the trumpet at age eight upon hearing Alvin Alcorn play. Blanchard played trumpet recreationally alongside childhood friend Wynton Marsalis in summer music camps but showed no real proficiency on the instrument. Then, while in high school, he began studying at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) under Roger Dickerson and Ellis Marsalis, Jr.. From 1980 to 1982, Blanchard studied under jazz saxophonist Paul Jeffrey and trumpeter Bill Fielder at Rutgers University, while touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. In 1982, Wynton Marsalis recommended Blanchard to replace him in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and until 1986, Blanchard was the band's trumpeter and musical director. With Blakey and as co-leader of a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison and pianist Mulgrew Miller, Blanchard rose to prominence as a key figure in the 1980s Jazz Resurgence. The Harrison/Blanchard group recorded five albums from 1984-1988 until Blanchard left to pursue a solo career in 1990.
In the 1990s, after a laborious but successful embouchure change, Blanchard was as busy as ever. He recorded his self-titled debut for Columbia Records which reached third on the Billboard Jazz Charts. After performing on soundtracks for Spike Lee movies, including Do the Right Thing and Mo' Better Blues, Lee wanted Blanchard to compose the scores for his films beginning with "Jungle Fever" (1991). Blanchard has written the score for every Spike Lee film since including, Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man. In 2006, he composed the score for Spike Lee's 4-hour Hurricane Katrina documentary for HBO entitled When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Blanchard also appeared in front of the camera with his mother to share their emotional journey back to find her home completely destroyed.
Blanchard has also composed for other directors, including Leon Icasho, Ron Shelton and Kasi Lemmons. With over forty scores to his credit, Blanchard is the most prolific jazz musician to ever compose for movies. Entertainment Weekly proclaimed Blanchard "central to a general resurgence of jazz composition for film." Yet in a 1994 interview for Down Beat, Blanchard was quoted as saying, "Writing for film is fun, but nothing can beat being a jazz musician, playing a club, playing a concert".
All the while, Blanchard has remained true to his jazz roots as a trumpeter and bandleader on the performance circuit. He has recorded several award-winning albums for Columbia, Sony Classical and Blue Note Records, including In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook (1994), Romantic Defiance (1995), The Heart Speaks (1996), Wandering Moon (2000), Let's Get Lost (2001) and Flow (2005), which was produced by pianist Herbie Hancock and received two Grammy Award nominations.
Terence Blanchard's 2001 CD Let's Get Lost was his most commercially successful album to date. It features new arrangements of classic songs written by Jimmy McHugh and performed by his own quintet along with the leading ladies of jazz vocals: Diana Krall, Jane Monheit, Dianne Reeves, and Cassandra Wilson.
In 2005, Blanchard was part of the ensemble that won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for his participation on McCoy Tyner’s Illuminations, an award he shared with Tyner, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash.
In December 2002, Scarecrow Press published Contemporary
Cat: Terence Blanchard with Special Guests, an authorized
biography of Blanchard written by Anthony Magro.
The book is the 42nd title in the publisher's well-regarded "Series In Jazz" headed by editors Dan Morgenstern and Edward Berger.
"Written in an intimate, conversational style, Contemporary Cat: Terence Blanchard with Special Guests begins in the birthplace of jazz, Blanchard's hometown, New Orleans. His family and famous musician teachers speak of a disciplined youngster who matured alongside the Marsalis brothers and saxophonist Donald Harrison to become a leader in the important 1980s jazz resurgence."
In the fall of 2000, Terence Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. Herbie Hancock serves as chairman; Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry and Jimmy Heath sit on the board of trustees. The conservatory offers an intensive, tuition-free, two-year master's program to a limited number of students (only up to eight per every two years).
In his role as artistic director, Blanchard works with the students in the areas of artistic development, arranging, composition, and career counseling. He also participates in master classes and community outreach activities associated with the program. "Out of my desire to give something back to the jazz community, I wanted to get involved. In fact, I've always said that if I wasn't a musician, that I would like to be a teacher. So I was glad to get involved and to be a part of this unique program that fosters such an open and accessible environment."
In April 2007, the Institute announced its "Commitment to New Orleans" initiative which includes the relocation of the program to the campus of Loyola University New Orleans from Los Angeles. Blanchard had passionately lobbied the Institute to relocate saying, "After Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was shaken and its musical roots were threatened. I grew up in this city and learned about jazz here at Loyola with other young jazz musicians like Wynton and Branford Marsalis and I know that the Institute will have a great impact on jazz and in our communities. We are going to work hard to help jazz and New Orleans flourish once again."
|Terence Blanchard Grammy History|
|1984||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group||New York Scene||Jazz||Concord||Winner||with the Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.|
|1990||Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group||Mo' Better Blues (Soundtrack)||Jazz||CBS||Nominated||with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.|
|1996||Best Latin Jazz Album||The Heart Speaks||Latin Jazz||Columbia||Nominated||features the compositions of Ivan Lins.|
|2000||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||Wandering Moon||Jazz||Sony Classical||Nominated||for the track "I Thought About You"|
|2001||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||Let's Get Lost||Jazz||Sony Classical||Nominated||for the track "Lost In a Fog"|
|2004||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||McCoy Tyner's Illuminations||Jazz||Telarc||Winner||featured as the band's trumpeter and composer of one song.|
|2005||Best Jazz Instrumental Album||Flow||Jazz||Blue Note||Nominated||Herbie Hancock, album producer.|
|2006||Best Long Form Music Video||Flow: Living in the Stream of Music (DVD)||Jazz||Blue Note||Nominated||Jim Gabour, video director/producer; Robin Burgess video producer.|
|2007||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)||Jazz||Blue Note||Nominated||for the track "Levees"|
|2007||Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album||A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)||Jazz||Blue Note||Winner||features Blanchard's quintet with a 40-piece string orchestra.|
|2008||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival||Jazz||Blue Note||Winner||for the track "Be-Bop"|
|2009||Best Jazz Instrumental Solo||Watts||Jazz||Dark Key Music||Nominated||for the track "Dancin' 4 Chicken"|
Selected film-related awards for Terence Blanchard
|1995||Emmy Award||Best Original Score for a TV Mini-Series||The Promised Land||Nominated|
|2003||World Soundtrack Award||Soundtrack Composer of the Year||"25th Hour"||Nominated|
|2003||Sierra Award||Best Score||"25th Hour"||Nominated|
|2003||Golden Globe||Best Original Score - Motion Picture||"25th Hour"||Nominated|
|2003||Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA)||Best Score||"25th Hour"||Winner|
|2005||Black Reel||Best Original Score||"She Hate Me"||Nominated|
|2007||Black Reel||Best Original Score||Inside Man||Nominated|
A complete discography of Blanchard's jazz recordings as a bandleader.
|1984||New York Second Line (as Harrison/Blanchard)||Jazz||Concord|
|1986||Discernment (as Harrison/Blanchard)||Jazz||Concord|
|1986||Nascence (as Harrison/Blanchard)||Jazz||Columbia|
|1987||Crystal Stair (as Harrison/Blanchard)||Jazz||Columbia|
|1988||Black Pearl (as Harrison/Blanchard)||Jazz||Columbia|
|1993||The Malcolm X Jazz Suite||Jazz||Columbia|
|1994||In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook||Jazz||Columbia|
|1995||Romantic Defiance -||Jazz||Columbia|
|1996||The Heart Speaks||Latin Jazz||Columbia|
|1999||Jazz In Film||Jazz||Sony Classical|
|2000||Wandering Moon||Jazz||Sony Classical|
|2001||Let's Get Lost||Jazz||Sony Classical|
|2007||A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)||Jazz||Blue Note|
A selected filmography of Terence Blanchard scores.
(*denotes score available on CD).
For further reading, including TV scores, see http://imdb.com/name/nm0005966/
On February 10, 2008, Blanchard won his first Grammy Award as a bandleader for A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) in the category of Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. His two other Grammy Awards were as a sideman for Art Blakey (1984) and McCoy Tyner (2004).
In 2007, the Monterey Jazz Festival named Blanchard Artist-In-Residence, citing him as "one his generation’s most artistically mature and innovative artists and a committed supporter of jazz education." The Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary Band featuring Blanchard on trumpet will make a 54-date, 10-week tour of the United States from January 8, 2008 to March 16, 2008. Rounding out the band will be saxophonist James Moody, pianist Benny Green, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott. The special ensemble will also feature jazz singer Nnenna Freelon.
In December 2007, the Terence Blanchard Quintet performed the movie music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard with an orchestra and singers Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, and Raul Midón at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.