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Can a Trumpet Silence a Gun? Terence Blanchard Wants to Try

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Saturday August 24, 2019

From The Daily Beast

Can a Trumpet Silence a Gun? Terence Blanchard Wants to Try
By: LARRY BLUMENFELD

“In mid-July, trumpeter Terence Blanchard was on tour in Europe. News from home came fast and hard. New Orleans, his hometown, had been spared another flood, this time from Hurricane Barry’s intense rains. Nearly five years to the day after Eric Garner’s death from a Staten Island policeman’s chokehold, U.S. Attorney General William Barr had ordered the case against Officer Daniel Pantaleo dropped; no federal civil rights charges would be filed. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s tweets had suggested that four female Democratic Congress members ‘go back’ to ‘the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came’ (notwithstanding that three of them were born in the U.S.).

Such headlines touch on the animating storylines behind Blanchard’s music. His Grammy-winning 2007 album A Tale of God’s Will expressed the aftermath of the flood resulting from the levee failures following Hurricane Katrina through jazz. In its lush but urgent music, his trumpet evoked the anguished cries of those left stranded on rooftops.

Breathless, the hard-hitting first release from Blanchard’s E-Collective band, was titled in reference to Eric Garner’s plea’”‘I Can’t Breathe’‘“while succumbing to that fatal chokehold.”

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