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Yavuz Baydar
Journalist
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piqer: Yavuz Baydar
Thursday, 29 November 2018

"The Tradition Of Jazz Is To Break Tradition"—Terence Blanchard

He is one of the brilliant four who have been taking the trumpet, a key instrument in Jazz, to new territories each time he takes the stage or cuts a new album. Along with the 'southerners' Roy Hargrove, Wynton Marsalis and Nicholas Payton, New-Orleans born Terence Blanchard stands out as his crisp approach to improvisation, his sharp musical wit and excellent compositions. 

He stepped into jazz with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1980 and, on his childhood buddy Marsalis's suggestion, he was recruited by the legendary drummer Art Blakey as part of his combo, Jazz Messengers. Ever since, he has been expanding his language, composing, writing soundtracks (for several Spike Lee movies), teaching at, among others, at Berklee School of Music. 

"Writing for film is fun, but nothing can beat being a jazz musician, playing a club, playing a concert," he said once. 

A driven explorer, Blanchard is a voice for his generation, powerfully equipped with intellect and knowledge. Apart from anything else, it is his live performances that reveal his artistry, unbending to commercial interests, or popular trends.

It is at the stage he is at his fiercest, at his best.

Here, at the soundcheck before his recent concert at New Morning Jazz Club in Paris, with his quintet E-Collective, at a podcast by Lionel Eskenazi, Blanchard tells about his world and how he reached where he is musically.

"The Tradition Of Jazz Is To Break Tradition"—Terence Blanchard
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