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Herbie Hancock

Pianist and composer Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois to Winnie Belle and Wayman Edward Hancock. Hancock began to study music at age seven, and performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by age eleven. He played jazz in high school and double-majored in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.

In 1960, Hancock was discovered by trumpeter Donald Byrd. After two years of session work with Byrd, as well as Phil Woods and Oliver Nelson, he signed with Blue Note Records as a solo artist. Hancock’s 1963 debut album, Takin’ Off, was an immediate success, and produced the hit “Watermelon Man.” Subsequent albums on Blue Note included Maiden Voyage, Empyrean Isles, and Speak Like a Child, among others. In 1963, trumpeter Miles Davis invited Hancock to join the Miles Davis Quintet alongside Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams, where he stayed for five years. Hancock also composed the score to Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blow Up, which led to a successful career in feature film and television music.

After leaving the Davis Quintet, Hancock established his own sextet and recorded several albums, including 1971’s Mwandishi. He then formed a new band called The Headhunters and, in 1973, recorded Head Hunters for Columbia Records, which became the first jazz album to go platinum. Hancock produced eleven albums that were included in the pop charts during the 1970s. He also recorded and performed with the group V.S.O.P. in the late 1970s, toured with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis in 1980, and then collaborated with producer Bill Laswell in the mid-1980s. Hancock later moved to the Verve record label and formed a band to record 1996's The New Standard. He then released 1 1 with Wayne Shorter in 1997. Hancock reunited with The Headhunters in 1998 and, that same year, collaborated with a number of artists on his multiple Grammy Award-winning album Gershwin's World. His albums in the 2000s included Future2Future, Directions In Music: Live at Massey Hall, Possibilities, The Imagine Project, and River: The Joni Letters, which won him the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 2008.

Hancock has been named by the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Creative Chair For Jazz. He also serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and as the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. In addition, he is a founder of The International Committee of Artists for Peace, and was designated an honorary UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 2011.

In all, Hancock has released over forty albums and received fourteen Grammy Awards. He also received an Oscar Award for composing the score to 1986’s Round Midnight. His other honors include a Soul Train Music Award, a U.S. Radio Award, and multiple BMI Film Music Awards and MTV Video Awards. He was also awarded the “Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres” by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.

Herbie Hancock was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 13, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.260

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/13/2014

Last Name

Hancock

Maker Category
Middle Name

Jeffrey

Occupation
Schools

Hyde Park Academy High School

Grinnell College

Forrestville Elementary School

First Name

Herbert

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAN05

Favorite Season

None

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Home

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

4/12/1940

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Short Description

Pianist and music composer Herbie Hancock (1940 - ) was a fourteen time Grammy Award-winning artist. He played with numerous jazz ensembles and released over forty albums.

Employment

Blue Note Records

Miles Davis Quintet

Herbie Hancock Sextet

The Headhunters

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:2105,45:6112,89:6444,94:7274,123:7689,129:8021,134:12132,204:12536,209:18224,267:18860,275:19390,281:22146,316:22888,326:27244,351:27764,357:28700,367:30950,385:31856,393:35302,428:36420,451:37194,461:41380,496:49078,579:53407,620:55738,650:57736,679:65973,746:81760,901:82615,911:83185,918:108873,1175:109157,1180:110293,1203:110790,1212:119782,1287:120074,1292:124220,1336:129100,1410:134944,1490:137335,1512:137725,1560:163056,1755:169960,1794:174932,1847:181724,1938:188905,2025:191084,2048:199490,2108:199970,2116:204844,2155:205996,2184:206428,2192:213371,2319:214449,2334:215604,2505:226260,2623:238730,2707$0,0:26621,336:26953,353:27700,360:28281,368:41828,486:42465,494:44831,532:45559,541:51644,595:52292,626:63349,803:64186,819:65674,854:68929,898:69301,903:76204,919:77610,935:77890,940:80336,953:85605,1003:90810,1059:91158,1064:92550,1090:94808,1122:95156,1129:97641,1155:100170,1194:106664,1260:108008,1275:110180,1287:112622,1320:125526,1400:125838,1405:130980,1501:132240,1530:134236,1547:136657,1560:137133,1565:159790,1829:160438,1845:168410,1980:176160,2067:176730,2073:178560,2091:179288,2101:179925,2109:184974,2132:203660,2276:210820,2360
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Herbie Hancock's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock talks about how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock describes his sister's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock talks about his father's education and profession

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Herbie Hancock remembers his mother's mental illness

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Herbie Hancock describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Herbie Hancock remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Herbie Hancock describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Herbie Hancock recalls the music of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Herbie Hancock describes the Regal Theater and Metropolitan Theatre in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock remembers his first piano

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock describes his early piano teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock recalls his experiences with sports

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock recalls winning the Young People's Concerts contest

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock remembers performing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at eleven years old

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock shares a story from his travels in Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Herbie Hancock recalls learning a new piece for his performance with Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Herbie Hancock remembers organizing a jazz concert at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Herbie Hancock describes the racial demographics of Hyde Park High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Herbie Hancock describes his introduction to jazz

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Herbie Hancock recalls listening to George Shearing

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock talks about his early exposure to jazz music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock recalls his decision to attend Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock remembers his classmates at Grinnell College

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock talks about attending Jack and Jill of America, Inc. events

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock recalls his academic achievements

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock describes his experiences at Grinnell College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Herbie Hancock recalls majoring in engineering at Grinnell College

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Herbie Hancock describes the music department at Grinnell College

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Herbie Hancock remembers his summer job at the post office

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Herbie Hancock recalls balancing his music career with his work at the post office

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Herbie Hancock remembers the jazz musicians at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock recalls his first performance with Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock remembers joining Donald Byrd's band

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock recalls living as a struggling jazz musician in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock remembers moving in with Donald Byrd

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock talks about the mentorship of Donald Byrd

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock recalls finding the courage to write his own compositions

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Herbie Hancock talks about the start of his music writing career

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Herbie Hancock recalls being approached by Miles Davis

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock remembers buying his first sports car, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock remembers buying his first sports car, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock describes his early performances in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock describes the process of composing 'Watermelon Man'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock remembers performing with Mongo Santamaria

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock describes his early understanding of the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Herbie Hancock talks about developing his craft with other pianists from Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Herbie Hancock recalls meeting Tony Williams

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Herbie Hancock remembers auditioning for Miles Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Herbie Hancock talks about the formation of Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Herbie Hancock recalls developing the post-bop style of jazz with Miles Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Herbie Hancock remembers recording 'Live at the Plugged Nickel 1965'

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Herbie Hancock describes the Second Great Quintet's improvisational style

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Herbie Hancock talks about the lack of a bandleader in the Second Great Quintet

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Herbie Hancock recalls lessons from his time with Miles Davis

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Herbie Hancock reflects upon his career with Miles Davis

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

7$10

DATitle
Herbie Hancock recalls finding the courage to write his own compositions
Herbie Hancock remembers auditioning for Miles Davis
Transcript
Now, Horace Silver, his records were his own compositions and his records sold. Why did they sell? 'Cause they were like funky jazz compositions. People seem to like that. So, I started to think, I'm from Chicago [Illinois], that's a blues town. And, if I can't write a funky jazz tune, something's wrong. So, anyway, I decided that I wanted to write something that was honestly from my experience as an African American, from my neighborhood. Something that was, you know, truly ethnic. Because, I mean, that's where the whole funky thing came from. So, since I hadn't experienced being in a chain gang or, or being beaten, or being in the South and abused, I was from Chicago. And, so, I started thinking, okay, who's the most ethnic character I would think of? And, it was the watermelon man. But, I started to think, I don't know if I wanna write a tune called 'Watermelon Man' 'cause there was stigma attached to watermelons. And, that stigma was this image of the (air quotes) pickaninny, you know, with big eyes, you see the white of his eyes and, you know, lip smacking, you know, the watermelon. It was very like a stereotypical negative--that was the idea that it was a negative image of black people. And, so, I didn't wanna call attention to that. I mean, at that time, and it sounds ridiculous today. But, black people would buy watermelons in a black neighborhood. Black people would not buy watermelons in a grocery store in a white neighborhood because of that stigma. It just wasn't done. So, but, I started to think about that, you know. And, I, I thought, okay. Maybe I could call it the vegetable man. But, that didn't fly. So, I said, okay. How can I work this? I started thinking, okay. Is there anything wrong with watermelons? Nope. Tasty, delicious, it's not unhealthy at all. It's a lot of water in it, you know. Okay, that's--the fruit is fine. Is there anything actually wrong with the watermelon man? Nope. Couldn't find anything wrong with that. So, I had no compelling argument to dissuade me from calling it 'Watermelon Man,' except my own lack of courage. So, I couldn't let myself do that. So, I said, I'm gonna have to stand up for what I believe in. It's nothing wrong with the watermelon man. I'm calling it 'Watermelon Man.' And, there was some musicians that when I told 'em I had written a song called 'Watermelon Man,' this was before I actually--yeah, maybe I had recorded it but it wasn't released yet. And, I told them that I'd written a song called 'Watermelon Man.' They said, "You're not really gonna call it that, are you?" And, I said, "Yes. I am," (laughter). And, they'd walk away shaking their head, you know.$So, anyway, he and I became really, you know, close friends, really bonded together and so this is why when Miles called me, the next thing is Tony [Tony Williams] calls me and says, "Hey, did Miles call you?" I said, "Yeah." And, he--we were both really excited about it. So, the next day we show up at Miles' house and Ron Carter, bass player, was player already there. George Coleman who had been playing with Miles along with Ron was, was already there. And, Miles--we started playing something, you know, some, maybe some standard tunes. I don't remember now what, what we started to play. And, Miles played a few notes and then took his horn and threw it on the couch and, and kind of went upstairs like it was, didn't wanna, he didn't wanna be bothered or he was disgusted or I don't know what. But, not with us but he just threw the horn down and left. And, so, Ron Carter kind of took over to proceed with us playing more music. And, this went on for three days. And, the second day Miles came down for a minute to meet two friends of his that came, came by, Philly Joe Jones, a great drummer that had played with Miles in the, in the First Great Quintet. What we call the First Great Quintet. And, Gil Evans who was the arranger of, of, some orchestra pieces with Miles, 'Miles Ahead,' 'Porgy and Bess,' and 'Sketches of Spain.' Two heroes of mine, by the way. Anyway, Miles came down to speak to them, and they listened to us for a while. And, then the third day Miles came down, he played a little bit more and then he said, "Okay, next Monday we're gonna meet at--" he said (imitates Miles Davis), "Monday we're gonna meet at Columbia, Columbia recording studio [CBS 30th Street Studio, New York, New York] at 3:30." And I, I said, "Miles, does that mean I'm in the band?" And, Miles looked at me, first thing was some expletive (laughter), and he said (imitates Miles Davis), "You're making the record." But, he had a little glint in his eye, you know. And, that was fine with me. I just, I'm thinking, I'm gonna make a record with Miles Davis. You know, beyond my wildest dreams. But, it was a combination of rehearsal and audition. And, because after we made the record, we went and played our, our first gig up in, in Maine at a, at a college and that was the beginning of a five and a half year stint with Miles Davis.

Terence Blanchard

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.

Accession Number

A2014.248

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/8/2014

Last Name

Blanchard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Oliver

Schools

Mary D. Coghill Elementary School

P. A. Capdau School

St. Augustine High School

John F. Kennedy High School

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts

Rutgers University

First Name

Terence

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BLA17

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

New Orleans, Louisiana

Favorite Quote

When You’re Creating Your Art Never Speak Above Nobody, Never Speak Beneath Them, Just Speak Straight To Them.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

3/13/1962

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Okra Gumbo

Short Description

Trumpet player and music composer Terence Blanchard (1962 - ) was a five-time Grammy Award-winning musician and a prolific film score composer. He released twenty jazz albums and wrote over fifty film scores for Spike Lee and other directors.

Employment

Henry Mancini Institute

Terence Blanchard

Herbie Hancock

Thelonious Monk Institute

Donald Harrison & Terence Blanchard

Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

Lionel Hampton

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:410,220:22290,607:25605,717:45494,958:45858,963:49134,1018:49862,1027:50317,1034:54776,1113:59922,1147:60232,1245:71708,1352:79180,1479:87620,1601:111693,1934:125974,2251:126430,2258:127038,2277:128862,2340:129242,2346:132230,2356:133510,2386:137350,2461:143082,2517:152034,2669:154944,2743:156593,2762:169554,2991:170146,3011:186904,3243:187259,3249:187543,3254:189247,3291:197400,3647:202130,3936:220918,4125:241380,4314$0,0:11362,273:12032,279:16373,340:18448,380:18946,387:21666,404:22026,410:24576,433:24984,439:25596,446:28424,465:36361,638:41526,734:42021,740:53704,892:54968,916:59629,1007:63579,1106:64369,1156:70268,1239:77076,1419:81837,1515:83146,1543:93190,1721:93590,1727:95110,1763:100630,1916:103510,1985:104070,1993:114755,2115:115355,2129:115805,2136:116330,2145:119255,2202:129162,2329:129820,2337:139444,2499:140839,2517:142141,2608:155268,2754:165540,2929
DAStories

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

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$2

DAStory

1$5

DATitle
Terence Blanchard remembers leaving Rutgers University to tour with Art Blakey
Terence Blanchard describes his education at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts
Transcript
So when did you graduate college?$$I never graduated college.$$Oh, okay.$$No.$$So what's--tell me more about Rutgers [Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey]?$$(Laughter).$$And what, how do we go from, where do we go from Lionel Hampton--$$Yeah.$$--Rutgers (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) (Unclear) right.$$--and--$$Well, I was at Rutgers in 1980 and I was playing with Lionel Hampton. I was the first one in my immediate family--my aunt [Alice Ray Douglas] went to college but my mom [Wilhelmina Ray Blanchard] and my dad [Joseph Blanchard] didn't so I was the first one to go to college. And they were--and I went to an Ivy League school [sic.]? Please, you know, they wanted me to be a classical musician remember so I'm going, I'm going to Rutgers, "My son is at Rutgers," you know, that was a big thing. Had to come back with all the paraphernalia for everybody. And I was playing with Lionel Hampton who they also knew. And that was like--he was--I remember Ebony magazine took a picture of Lionel Hampton at some place and I was a speck in the corner of the picture, I think, I bet you Ebony sales went up that month 'cause everybody was buy- in my family was buying the magazine. So they were cool with me doing that. That was about a year and a half. All of a sudden Wynton [Wynton Marsalis] calls me up and he goes, "Hey, man, I'm leaving Art Blakey's band and I want you to audition." I'm like, "Cool." I go up and audition, didn't tell my parents, I got the gig. And I'm like oh, killing. They say we're gone leave for Europe for ten weeks and I went, "Uh-oh." So I had to call my parents and I had to tell 'em, I said, like, "Guess what? I got this gig playing with Art Blakey." "Oh, well, that's nice, that's nice." And I said, "But I think I'm gone have to leave school." (Makes sound) It was like the piano thing but even worse (laughter). Yeah. My father told me, he said--I'll never forget it--he said, "You're not my son." Yeah, that hurt me. He said, "You're not my son," he said "'cause my son wouldn't do nothing that stupid." 'Cause he didn't know who Art Blakey was, you know. And it didn't make sense to him, I was playing with Lionel Hampton on the weekends, making money and still in school and I'm gonna leave that to go play with some dude they don't know? You know, oh, man, it was, it was really, it was--it was amazing. But the thing that was cool about it, you know, me and my dad had a great relationship because at that moment he didn't talk to me for a little bit but I'll never forget when I made my first record with Art Blakey, right? Art--they called the album, they used my song as the title track, 'Oh-By the Way,' which is something that I had written when I was in high school, right. I come back with the album and I give it to my dad, like, "Man, see this is what I've been doing, this is, I'm, I'm telling you, this is the guy," then they got a picture of us on the back, you know. Like, "This, this is what I've been doing." My dad was kind of like, "Yeah, all right, whatever." But you gotta remember my dad had some jazz friends, right. So (laughter) I don't know if it was like a month, or a little while later, I get a phone call from my dad, I'm back up here in New York [New York] and my dad goes, "Hey, I was talking to Clem." Clem Tervalon [Clement Tervalon] was a trombone player in New Orleans [Louisiana], great trombone player. He said, "Yeah, I was talking to Clem and Clem told me this Art Blakey is somebody," (laughter). I said, I said, "Well, I was trying to tell you that," (laughter) you know. And that's when things started to turn around for, for me and him. And I'll never forget it--boy, I don't know what, how we got in this conversation. My dad was talking to me one day and he goes, "I'm proud of you." And I'm like, "Well, thank you," and, and he goes, "No, you don't understand." I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "If you would have listened to me," he said, 'cause he wanted me, he didn't want me to go away to school--he said, "if you would have listened to me you would have been in New Orleans, probably not doing what you wanna do, and you'd probably be bitter." He said, "And I'm proud of what you turned into." That was huge, that was really huge.$So I went to Kennedy [John F. Kennedy High School, New Orleans, Louisiana] in the morning and then at lunch time a bus would pick us up and bring us to NOCCA [New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana] and my life changed overnight.$$How so?$$It was the first time in my life--and I'm not ashamed to say this--it was the first time in my life I wanted to go to school every day. I'll never forget, it hit me, you know, really hard because I was sick, I had like a flu and I was getting out of bed to get dressed and my mom [Wilhelmina Ray Blanchard] was like, "Boy, where are you going?" I'm like, "Ma, I gotta go to school," 'cause I know we were gonna be learning, I was learning something every day, you know, about music and I loved it, man, I, I loved it. I, I, I can't tell you how much, Dr. Bert Braud was my theory and analysis and composition instructor and he would challenge us, you know, to no end. And he would do things like, hey, man, you know, he knew I wanted to be a writer and he said, "Well, listen, man, you may be called upon in a session, you may have to write this horn line for five horns, all right, you got five minutes," (snaps fingers), "go do it." You know, and he would do things like that. And then he'd say, "Oh, listen, you may be in a session one place where you have to write out something so look I'm gonna give you thirty minutes to write out a whole tune, just give me the lead sheet." I'm like, "Thirty minutes?" He said, "Go" (snaps fingers). You know, and then we would, we would do things like serious analysis, you know, we'd sit down and break down, Liszt [Franz Liszt] 'Piano Concerto No. 2.' You know, and we'd sit down and have to go through the whole thing and break it down, what's the first theme, second theme, transitional phrases, and all of that stuff, what is this, what is the correct form of the piece, whether it's sonata-allegro form, all of those things. And I was doing that when I was fifteen, sixteen years old, you know. So I was like in a whirlwind. And the other thing I felt like was--see I only went to NOCCA for my junior and my senior year and most kids were going from sophomore so I felt like I was behind, so that's another reason why I didn't wanna miss 'cause I saw what it was doing for me, you know. And I'm, I'm always talking about NOCCA because they didn't sugarcoat things. They used to tell us. Well, the- they told us at orientation, they said, "Look around." They said, "After the first half of the year, half of y'all are not gonna be here." 'Cause they put you out if you didn't have, if your grades weren't up, you couldn't go. And they were right. My theory class had, when I first got there maybe it was, it was still relatively small, maybe it was about twenty, twenty-five people, at the end of that Christmas break, come back, it was only about ten or twelve of us.$$Wow.$$Yeah, no, they were no joke.