Trumpeter Terence Blanchard, set to jive students with free concert

You may not recognize his name or his face, but you probably know his music.

Famed composer, trumpeter, jazz musician and band leader Terence Blanchard is coming to the University to work with students, faculty and community members.

Blanchard has achieved fame as a recording artist for Blue Note records and as composer for over 50 motion pictures and television movies. His work in the film “25th Hour” was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2003.

Blanchard will have several free events tonight through Friday. His visit kicks off with a jazz concert tonight.

Tomorrow, there is a screening of the 2003 Spike Lee film, “25th Hour,” one of the many Lee films Blanchard has composed the score for.

Following the showing, there will be a question-and-answer session with Blanchard.

Throughout his visit, Blanchard will be speaking and working with students and faculty in a number of different forums. He will be the guest speaker at the College of Musical Arts Convocation and will work with students in jazz, composing and film.

Richard Kennell, dean of the College of Musical Arts, stressed that Blanchard’s visit is beneficial to all students.

“Blanchard is a major musical figure that will be accessible to all students, not just those in music and film,” Kennell said.

Kennell said guests like Blanchard is what sets Bowling Green’s education apart from other universities and high schools.

“This is an opportunity to do things you didn’t get to do in high school. These events make the Bowling Green education much richer,” Kennell said.

Deborah Fleitz, director of public events at the College of Musical Arts, said Blanchard is not only an honored musician, but “very much a humanitarian.”

Born and raised in New Orleans, Blanchard was personally affected by Hurricane Katrina. In the Spike Lee HBO documentary about Katrina, “When the Levees Broke,” Blanchard composed the score for the film and is interviewed. Blanchard is one of almost 100 people Lee choose to showcase to tell the personal stories of those who endured the ordeal and survived to share their stories.

Blanchard studied at the New Orleans Center of the Creative Arts and Rutgers University and began performing in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. Blanchard soon began composing scores for films, including “Love ‘ Basketball” and “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” But, as a film composer, Blanchard is best known for his partnership with Spike Lee. In addition to “25th Hour” and “When the Levees Broke,” Blanchard worked as a composer for Lee’s “Inside Man,” “Malcolm X” and “Mo Better Blues.”

Blanchard’s visit is part of the Hansen Musical Arts series.

“The goal of the series is to welcome a guest of national stature to interact with faculty and students and to forge collaboration with the University and the community,” Kennell said.

Blanchard was at the top of the list of guests the selection committee was reviewing, Fleitz said.

“It’s great that someone of this stature is coming to work with students and give a free concert,” Fleitz said.