October 20, 2014  

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Grammy Winner to Kick off Homecoming Festivities

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Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard will perform as part of Homecoming festivities at Southern Miss on Oct. 7.

Grammy award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard will kick off Homecoming weekend at The University of Southern Mississippi Oct. 7 in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center.

The Terence Blanchard Quintet concert is presented as part of the School of Music’s Connoisseur Series at 7:30 p.m. The Crescent City jazz legend will also conduct a master’s class for Southern Miss students.

“The fact that is he coming to Hattiesburg directly from a two-night stint at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Jam Series is evidence of significance in the jazz idiom,” said Michael A. Miles, director of the School of Music.

“His is already considered one of the great talents and minds of our musical time, but history will view his music in jazz and film as innovative, unique, fresh and socially significant to our time. It seems especially fitting that this particular musician perform on the 5th year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina considering his ties to New Orleans.”

Blanchard has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning in 2005 in the category of Best Instrumental Album, Individual or Group, for “McCoy Tyner’s Illuminations.” While Blanchard’s contributions in the genre of contemporary jazz music are significant, he has also been able to impact world consciousness through his film scorings.

In addition to the 17 albums under his belt, Blanchard has also created several filmographies, most significantly for film director Spike Lee. Blanchard has worked on Lee’s films since his earliest work on “Do the Right Thing” and Jungle Fever.”

His latest album, “A Tale of God’s Will” was inspired by Spike Lee’s four-hour documentary, “When the Levees Broke,” that aired on HBO. The album which is described as a “13-track emotional tour de force of anger, rage, compassion, melancholy and beauty” is Blanchard’s artistic response to the devastation caused to his hometown by Hurricane Katrina.

“This is what we are called to do as artists,” Blanchard said. “We document our social surroundings and give our impressions of events.”

Recording this album was a challenge for Blanchard who says he had to “contain myself, but I was so frustrated and in rage. I wanted the trumpet to scream on every track, but I feel that God is using me to speak for all the souls in New Orleans.”

Tickets begin at $10 and can be purchased at southernmisstickets.com or 601.266.5418. For more information, on the Terence Blanchard Quintet concert, call 601.266.6121.