The Pace Report: "A Composer's Choices" The Terence Blanchard Interview

New Orleans native Terence Blanchard has had his hands full for well over the last decade. The former educator, musician, and composer has been hard at work promoting and touring for his latest Concord Records release “Choices.” The disc features special musical guests like Lionel Loueke, Bilal, and noted scholar and writer Dr. Cornel West. “Choices” is the follow-up to his Grammy-Award Winning recording “(A Tale of God’s Will)” and further explores the responsibility of the residents of New Orleans on taking actions in their own hands on rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina.

Born on March 13th, 1962, Blanchard is one of the many great musicians that came from the cradle and birthplace of jazz music, New Orleans. He began playing music when he was five and was inspired to play the trumpet after he heard local native Alvin Alcorn, who played with the Olympia Brass Band and the Heritage Hall Jazz Band. He grew up with another musician who’d also make a name for himself later in jazz music, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. While in college the young Blanchard toured and played with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and Art Blakey. It was while he was playing with Blakey where he met and played with tenor saxophonist Donald Harrison and pianist Mulgrew Miller.

During the 1980’s the new resurgence of jazz musicians were appearing on the scene in New York City and both he and Donald Harrison formed the Harrison/Blanchard Group and recorded five albums. Since their break-up, Terence has been on the front lines of jazz music both in front and behind the scenes. He served as the artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and has been a prolific composer in Hollywood scoring over some 50 films. His latest film “Red Tails” is produced by legendary film producer/director George Lucas and is scheduled to released in winter of 2012. He continues to score movies for director Spike Lee who’s partnership goes back to 1991 when he scored the film “Jungle Fever.”

Terence is currently on the road and is about to record a new record to be released sometime next year. For upcoming tour dates or to order his latest disc “Choices” visit him on the web at www.terenceblanchard.com

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