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Terence Blanchard

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Information about Terence Blanchard

Profile image of Terence Blanchard

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Trumpet Player
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite Quote:
When You’re Creating Your Art Never Speak Above Nobody, Never Speak Beneath Them, Just Speak Straight To Them.

Birthplace

Born:
3/13/1962
Birth Location:
New Orleans, Louisiana

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Trumpet Player
Music Composer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Okra Gumbo
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New Orleans, Louisiana
Favorite Quote:
When You’re Creating Your Art Never Speak Above Nobody, Never Speak Beneath Them, Just Speak Straight To Them.

Birthplace

Born:
3/13/1962
Birth Location:
New Orleans
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Biography

Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Oliver Blanchard was born on March 13, 1962 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Wilhelmina and Joseph Oliver Blanchard. Blanchard began playing piano at the age of five, but switched to trumpet three years later. While in high school, he took extracurricular classes at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. From 1980 to 1982, Blanchard studied at Rutgers University in New Jersey and toured with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra.

In 1982, Blanchard replaced trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, where he served as musical director until 1986. He also co-led a quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison in the 1980s, recording five albums between 1984 and 1988. In 1991, Blanchard recorded and released his self-titled debut album for Columbia Records, which reached third on the Billboard Jazz Charts. He also composed musical scores for Spike Lee’s films, beginning with 1991’s Jungle Fever, and has written the score for every Spike Lee film since including Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man, and Miracle At St. Anna’s. In 2006, he composed the score for Lee's four-hour Hurricane Katrina documentary for HBO entitled When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Blanchard also composed for other directors, including Leon Ichaso, Ron Shelton, Kasi Lemmons and George Lucas. In all, he has written over fifty film scores.

Blanchard has also recorded several award-winning albums for Columbia, Concord, Sony Classical and Blue Note Records, including Simply Stated (1992), The Malcolm X Jazz Suite (1993), In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook (1994), Romantic Defiance (1995), The Heart Speaks (1996), Wandering Moon (2000), Let's Get Lost (2001), Bounce (2003), Flow (2005), A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007), Choices (2009), and Magnetic (2013).

In the fall of 2000, Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. In 2011, he was appointed artistic director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami. Blanchard also composed music for a number of Broadway plays, and, on June 15, 2013, he premiered his first opera, Champion, with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Throughout his career, Blanchard received thirteen Grammy Award nominations and won five. His other honors include an Emmy nomination, a Golden Globe nomination, a Soul Train Music nomination, two Black Reel nominations, and the Miles Davis Award from the Montreal International Jazz Festival. He received honorary degrees from Xavier University and Skidmore College in 2012.

Terence Blanchard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 8, 2014.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Terence Blanchard's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard remembers his father's musical talent
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about his French heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard describes his childhood homes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Terence Blanchard remembers living with his maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard talks about his early interests and aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard describes his relationship with his father
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to attend the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his education at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard recalls his friendship with Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to play the trumpet
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers meeting Alvin Alcorn
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to study music formally
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Terence Blanchard recalls his aspiration to become a musician
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard recalls his early interest in jazz music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard recalls his decision to attend Rutgers University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers the jazz venues in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard remembers his teacher, Ellis Marsalis, Jr.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard remembers William Fielder
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about the importance of breath for musicians, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard talks about the importance of breath for musicians, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard recalls his introduction to Buddhism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard remembers playing in Lionel Hampton's band
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard remembers leaving Rutgers University to tour with Art Blakey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard remembers touring with Art Blakey
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers Miles Davis
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard recalls signing a contract with Columbia Records
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard describes his composition and recording process
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard talks about the messages in his music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard remembers the birth of his son
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers meeting his half-sister
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard recalls the start of his collaborations with Spike Lee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring 'Malcolm X'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard describes his composition process for 'Malcolm X'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard remembers the other contributors to 'Malcolm X'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Terence Blanchard describes his relationship with Spike Lee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Terence Blanchard lists his film scores
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring '4 Little Girls'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Terence Blanchard remembers Hurricane Katrina
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Terence Blanchard remembers the destruction of his mother's home in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Terence Blanchard remembers the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Terence Blanchard talks about the response to Hurricane Katrina
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Terence Blanchard remembers scoring Spike Lee's 'When the Levees Broke'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Terence Blanchard talks about teaching young musicians