I was ecstatic to see a jazz musician I deeply admire (and whom I'm lucky enough to call a friend) Terence Blanchard featured on the front page of "Arts" in the New York Times online today, and in print tomorrow (August 8, 2016)! He performed in Staten Island on Friday night with songs from his incredible album "Breathless", an album that was largely inspired by the untimely and terrible death of Eric Garner from over 2 years ago. The article touches on the many jazz musicians who have used music as a means to push justice in a "Black Lives Matter' age.
For those of you who may not know Terence Blanchard, he's a 5-time Grammy trumpeter, scored many of Spike Lee's films, and is a native and resident of New Orleans. I had the fortune of meeting and getting to know him during a trip to Washington DC as we, along with The Recording Academy, lobbied hard to protect musicians' rights (producers, songwriters, and performers) on being fairly paid royalties that have been earned and well deserved. In closing our final meeting with Congress, Terence played a soulful jazzy rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In", bringing us all to our feet, dancing and singing along. Although that battle of "fair play, fair pay" still marches on, and Terence's performance was flawless...nothing compares to the emotions and the performance he set forth on his latest album "Breathless". Terence closed his performance in Staten Island with these wise and true words:
Thank you Terence for always sharing your message through music!
P.S.: Be sure to check Terence out at the following links:
-Article in Medium: "Using Music to Underscore Three Words: I Can't Breathe"
-New York Times: "A Cri de Coeur from Jazz Musicians in a Black Lives Matter Age"