Since he emerged on the scene in 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Terence Blanchard has been one of the most prominent jazz artists today. Blanchard is an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence, having recorded several award-winning albums and performing with the jazz elite. He is a five-time Grammy Award-winner, renowned bandleader, recording artist, and composer of film scores and soundtracks (several for Spike Lee films as well as for Broadway shows).
Known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition, Blanchard has more recently utilized an African-fusion style of playing that sets him apart from other trumpeters. Vanity Fair wrote this: “[Blanchard] plays the most coolly expressive trumpet in jazz, transmuting the instrument’s repertoire of smears, growls, peeps and blasts into an astonishingly fluid language both luxurious and controlled.”
For his jazz festival appearance he will be joined by his quintet and special guest, guitarist and vocalist Lionel Loueke.
Guitartist and vocalist Lionel Loueke has earned a reputation in jazz circles as “a startlingly original voice” and was hailed as a “gentle virtuoso” by Jon Pareles of The New York Times. A veteran of bands led by Terence Blanchard and his mentor, Herbie Hancock, Loueke is bringing jazz into vibrant contact with the sounds of his native West Africa, in particular the country of Benin, where he was born. Praised by Hancock as “a musical painter,” Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk forms, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own.
He has released three acclaimed CDs on Blue Note Records, including his most recent, Heritage, which features a more electric sound.