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Power and Artistry: A Conversation with Jazz Legend Terence Blanchard

Arts & Culture

Power and Artistry: A Conversation with Jazz Legend Terence Blanchard

Tuesday, May 21, 2024
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Doors at 11:15am / Lunch at 11:30am / Forum begins 12:00pm

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Few musicians tower like Terence Blanchard. The eight-time Grammy winner has been recording for more than four decades, and though his early work recalls the legacy of midcentury greats, for years now, Blanchard has been remaking and reshaping the genre, turning it into a force to give voice to social change. A trumpeter, pianist, composer, Blanchard has pushed the genre and his own artistry beyond jazz to opera and film scores.

Blanchard began playing in his teenage years with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. By the 1980s, he was playing with Art Blakley's Jazz Messengers. In the 90s, he began performing solo and working with filmmaker Spike Lee, a collaboration that would include films from Do the Right Thing to BlacKKKlansman. During the same period of time, he began to work in opera, turning Charles Blow's 2014 memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones into an opera for the Metropolitan Opera's 2021-2022 season, marking the first time a project from an African-American composer was presented from the Met's world-renowned stage.

Blanchard is in Cleveland for an appearance with The Cleveland Orchestra's Mandel Opera and Humanities Festival, where he will perform the music of Wayne Shorter. Before he does, he'll join moderator Jeff Johnson on our stage for a conversation about power and his own artistry and what it means to use music to address social challenges.

Photo: Cedric Angeles

Tickets are available for purchase online until Friday, May 17th at noon. For more information on registration, please contact Stacy Holmes at


The livestream will be available beginning at 12:00pm. Have questions? Send a text to 330.541.5794.

Production and distribution of City Club forums in partnership with Ideastream Public Media is generously provided by PNC and the United Black Fund.

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