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Groove-Oriented, Bitingly Political

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Wednesday June 14, 2017

From Lincoln Journal Star

Terence Blanchard to bring groove-oriented, bitingly political music to Jazz in June
By: L. Kent Wolgamott

Terence Blanchard is a top-tier jazz trumpeter, with five Grammy Awards from 13 nominations and more than 30 albums.

He took over for Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers at the tender age of 20, following it up with a more than 30-year solo career, leading his own ensembles through acclaimed performances in clubs, concert halls and at festivals.

That said, you’re in for a surprise if you come to Jazz in June Tuesday expecting Blanchard to play hard bop or acoustic jazz.

“I have a band called the E-Collective,” Blanchard said by phone from his New Orleans home. “It’s groove-oriented and it’s a band that’s got guitar, keyboards, trumpet with effects, bass and drums. We’ve been together for two years. We made an album that’s called ‘Breathless’ that got a Grammy nomination and we’re working on some new music. We just recorded some new songs for an album that will probably come out next year. That’s what we’re going to be presenting for you guys in Nebraska.”

So how did Blanchard, 55, find his way to the funky, groove-oriented jazz of “Breathless”?

“I was scoring a film called ‘Inside Man’ that needed some groove kind of music for the score,” he said. “I was working with drummer Oscar Seaton. We thought maybe we should do this at some point. Nine, 10 years later, here we are. Oscar was working with Lionel Richie so we had to wait. But it got to the point where it was if I don’t do it now, it’s never going to get done. It’s a lot of fun.

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