Terence Blanchard

North America

“One of the most important functions of jazz has been to encourage a hope for freedom, for people living in situations of intolerance or struggle.”

No jazz artist embodies this more than Terence Blanchard. The multiple Grammy Award winner and Oscar nominee has dedicated his career and vast catalogue of compositions towards this mission. On his recent albums Breathless and LIVE, Blanchard’s music strives for justice and healing in the wake of gun violence and its impact wielded on communities and families. The strength and resolve of the Civil Rights Movement is palpable in Blanchard’s Oscar nominated score for BlacKkKlansman – one in a long line of Spike Lee films for which Blanchard’s music has been an essential element. Blanchard will be the first black composer to have his work staged by the Metropolitan Opera with Fire Shut Up In My Bones, a powerfully redemptive memory story tracing the tale of Charles Blow’s courage growing up in the tiny town of Gibsland, Louisiana – a place where slavery’s legacy is closely felt, reverberating in elders’ stories and in a near-constant wash of violence.

An artist who is at the forefront influencing the next generation of jazz musicians, Blanchard looks to the artists who have most inspired his own life and career for his next project. In June 2020, Blanchard will release his eighth album on the storied Blue Note Records label, celebrating the music of artists who influenced his own supernatural rise. With a band including Charles Altura on guitar, Matt Penman on bass, and Kendrick Scott on drums, Roots will feature arrangements of Herbie Hancock’s and Wayne Shorter’s music alongside new compositions by Blanchard inspired by these two icons.

This album will be the first of many recorded in Los Angeles, since Blanchard was named the first Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.