@ the Barbican Centre
14 November 2010
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Desert Island Discs
Which 2 albums would you take with you to a desert island?
John Coltrane- Love Supreme
Shirley Horn - Here's to Life
Born on March 13, 1962, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Terence Oliver
Blanchard began learning the piano at the tender age of five. Initially,
he wasn't too excited about his lessons, but his attitude would
change after a jazz band performed at his school in third grade.
Blanchard would be mesmerised by the band’s trumpeter Alvin
Alcorn and later proclaimed… "I want to do that!"
Blanchard attended the New Orleans Centre of Creative Arts the
same time as Wynton Marsalis. In fact, the two had become friends
after meeting in the sixth grade. They would continue to forge their
individual paths throughout the 80’s and beyond.
In the early 80’s, Blanchard performed with the Lionel Hampton
Orchestra. Later he would replace Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey’s
Jazz Messengers after recommendation from Marsalis himself. In 1990,
Blanchard left the Jazz Messengers to pursue a solo career.
As well as producing acclaimed jazz albums; Blanchard has won praise
and a wider audience for his work on film scores and soundtracks.
His work on Spike Lee films including Do the Right Thing, “Jungle
Fever, Mo’ Better Blues, Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam,
25th Hour and Inside Man has secured Blanchard’s role as a
successful inventive soundtrack composer and scorer.
"It's a different discipline which allows you to be creative
in a different form," muses Blanchard.
In 2007, Blanchard collaborated with Lee again on the deeply moving
Hurricane Katrina documentary “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem
in Four Acts”. This four-hour epic not only incorporated music
composed and performed by Blanchard, but also personal interviews
with Blanchard and his mother who lost her home in the disaster
Blanchard has also scored other films such as Sugar Hill, The Inkwell,
and Trial By Jury. He has provided music for the Discovery Channel's
acclaimed TV series "The Promised Land" and for two HBO
pictures: Assault at West Point and Soul of the Game. The vibrant
presence of Blanchard's trumpet can also be heard in Don Was music
for Backbeat and James Newton Howard's score for Primal Fear.
Despite his interest and participation in film, television and
theatre, Blanchard regards himself first and foremost as a jazz
"Nothing can beat being a jazz musician, playing a club,
playing a concert. When I stood next to Sonny Rollins at Carnegie
Hall and listened to him play, that was it for me."
Blanchard’s unfaltering commitment as a jazz musician has
resulted in many accolades and a busy performing schedule, both
in and out of the studio.
"It's not like I'm going out there to try to be different
or to prove anything, I'm just trying to be myself."