FreeWheelin' Music Safari

The Safari Explores the Music of Terrence Blanchard – Magnetic!

I’ve written it before and I am sure I will write it again during the years from 1980 to 1995 there was so much going on in my life that there was little time for musical explorations. During that period our family grew to include four children Nick (1979), Andrew (1982), Peter (1986) and Elizabeth (1990). Along the way our family lost my wife’s mother to breast cancer (1982 at the age of 48), my wife’s grandmother, and father, my father (1984) the way our sons Nick and Andrew both had medical problems, and mu wife had to miscarriages!! Anyway you get the picture, musical explorations were way down the list! I write all of this to give myself an excuse for not knowing about many of the artists that i have recently been discovering. One of those artists is trumpeter Terrence Blanchard! Today I have listened to his latest release Magnetic and throughly enjoying it!!

Blanchard was born and raised in New Orleans and in summer camps he played trumpet beside his friend Wynton Marsalis. He began his music career in

… 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, he has been a leading artist in jazz. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence, having recorded several award-winning albums and having performed with the jazz elite.

He is known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition but has recently developed an African-fusion style of playing that makes him unique from other trumpeters on the performance circuit. It is as a film composer that Blanchard reaches his widest audience. His trumpet can be heard on nearly fifty film scores; more than forty bear his compositional style. Read More

Now if I was movie geek I would have probably heard of Terrence because he has scored everything Spike Lee movie along with about 40 to 50 other films!! Along the way he has nominated for Emmys and Golden Globe awards. He has also been nominated for 12 Grammy awards and won 5 times! And if all that is not enough…..

On June 15, 2013, Blanchard premiered his first opera, Champion, with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. It is about the life of prize fighting boxer Emile Griffith from St. Thomas, with a libretto is by Pulitzer Prize-winning Michael Cristofer. It stars Denyce Graves, Aubrey Allicock, Robert Orth, and Arthur Woodley.

and …..

In the fall of 2000, Terence Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. Herbie Hancock serves as chairman; Wayne Shorter, Clark Terry and Jimmy Heath sit on the board of trustees. The conservatory offers an intensive, tuition-free, two-year master’s program to a limited number of students (only up to eight per every two years).

In his role as artistic director, Blanchard works with the students in the areas of artistic development, arranging, composition, and career counseling. He also participates in master classes and community outreach activities associated with the program. “Out of my desire to give something back to the jazz community, I wanted to get involved. In fact, I’ve always said that if I wasn’t a musician, that I would like to be a teacher. So I was glad to get involved and to be a part of this unique program that fosters such an open and accessible environment.”[2]

As of August 2011, he was named the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. He lives in the Garden District of New Orleans with his wife and four children.


Ok so I can go on and on or you can just go to Terrence’s website and check out his timeline or to Wikipedia and read his full biography!!

Magnetic is a great album and I’m still exploring the various compositions on the album. As I was listening to the album I started to write notes about the various tracks on track three “Don’t Run” I made a note about the solo on the track. Terrence received a Grammy nomination as Best improvised jazz solo for the track! So check it out here

So here’s Terrence and his quintet performing the title track “Magnetic”