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Thursday July 7th

Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard to perform at Memorial Hall

Courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts
Buy Photos Courtesy of Carolina Performing Arts

Famous trumpeter Terence Blanchard will bring his soulful sound to Memorial Hall at 8 p.m. tonight for an evening of jazz.

Blanchard, a native of New Orleans, recorded his latest album at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, honoring the city after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

David Houston, the museum’s curator and director, said Blanchard brought back the soul of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with his music.

“Terence gave it more soul, gave it more feeling,” Houston said. “He started thinking more of his legacy as a New Orleans tradition rather than a national reputation.”

Blanchard has also won several Grammys and worked on soundtracks for films including Spike Lee’s “Malcolm X,” “Summer of Sam” and “Do the Right Thing.

Houston said that he is a long-time fan of Miles Davis and that after Davis’ death, Blanchard took up some of the same approaches to music, moving the jazz genre forward.

“What I really appreciate about Terence is that he is an innovator and does not feel bound by the traditions of New Orleans music,” Houston said. “He has developed his own style, with a multilayer twist. Perhaps more than anyone, Terence is pushing new boundaries with his music. He is a real innovator.”

In addition to his performance at Memorial Hall today, Blanchard will also speak to members of the UNC Jazz Band in conjunction with the 33rd annual Carolina Jazz Festival.

Junior music major and jazz band member Ryan Raven said Blanchard’s visit will be both exciting and scary.

“It’s a bit intimidating to have someone who’s done as much as he has come listen and provide comments on the jazz band,” he said. “I do look forward to meeting him and hearing what he has to say.”

Britton Upchurch, a senior music major who is also part of the UNC Jazz Band, said Blanchard is at “the top of the game” and he is thankful for Blanchard’s visit to their rehearsal.

“Terence is right in line with the other incredible acts that Memorial Hall books these days,” he said. “I’m more excited by the fact that someone of his stature is not out of the ordinary. “

Upchurch added that Blanchard has recently become the artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in New Orleans and that he understands the importance of giving back to young people.

Both Raven and Upchurch said they look forward to Blanchard’s performance tonight.

Harry Kaplowitz, marketing manager for Carolina Performing Arts, said it is not out of the ordinary for Memorial Hall to host Grammy winners — something that speaks to the strength of this season’s lineup.

“It’s nice to have someone of that caliber performing in Chapel Hill to enrich the community,” he said.



Contact the Arts Editor at artsdesk@unc.edu.

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