Winner of the Miles Davis Award
Montreal, Thursday, July 3, 2014 — The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presents this year’s Miles Davis Award to renowned Louisiana trumpeter Terence Blanchard. The trophy will be presented to him on stage by André Ménard, artistic director and co-founder of the Festival, during his concert tonight at 7 p.m. in Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA, part of the Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series.
Terence Blanchard will be the 21th recipient of the Miles Davis Award, created for our 15th anniversary in 1994 to honour a great international jazz musician for the entire body of his or her work and for that musician’s influence in regenerating the jazz idiom. The bronze statuette was created from a self-portrait by Miles, sketched for the Festival poster in 1988.
An exceptional musician, prolific composer, bandleader and arranger, Louisiana’s Terence Blanchard has established himself as one of the most talented trumpeters in jazz. Once named “the most brilliant new trumpeter” by Miles Davis, he won over fans and critics for a coolly expressive trumpet style as masterful as it is relaxed, equally voluptuous and controlled. Born in New Orleans, Terence Blanchard took up piano at age 5, discovering the trumpet three years later plus. After training at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, he continued his studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, while concurrently playing with Lionel Hampton. In 1982, he replaced his friend Wynton Marsalis in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and then played in a quintet with Donald Harrison. From 1990 on, the trumpeter added the role of bandleader to his CV and launched a solo career in 1991 with a self-titled album for Columbia. In 2000, he was named musical director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles, a post he held for 10 years. In 2003, his career took another turn when he signed with Blue Note, racking up a number of prestigious awards in the years that followed: the 2004 Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental; the 2007 Grammy for Best Large Jazz ensemble for A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina); and, in 2008 2009, Grammys for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival and Dancin’ for Chicken on the album Watts by Jeff Tain Watts. Also drawn to film and the theatre, Blanchard has also composed the music for a number of films (Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, 25th Hour) and the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. The twenty albums he’s released under his name or as a co-leader include the memorably ambitious Choices in 2009, blending jazz, spoken word and R&B. Also artistic director of the Henri Mancini Institute at the University of Miami and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s jazz series, he added another feather to his cap, composing his first opera: the jazz opera Champion, a musical treatment of the life of boxer Emile Griffith. In his 8th Festival visit, the celebrated trumpeter offers fans a two-part concert: first, he’ll perform accompanied by his solid quintet, before being joined onstage by the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal. Double bill: Terence Blanchard Quintet | L’Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal with guests Terence Blanchard and his musicians, July 3, 7 p.m., Théâtre Maisonneuve, PdA (Les Grands concerts Rio Tinto Alcan series).
Terence Blanchard is the latest in a series of Miles Davis prizewinners. He follows Charles Lloyd (2013), Ron Carter (2012), Stanley Clarke (2011), Sonny Rollins (2010), Ornette Coleman (2009), McCoy Tyner (2008), Mike Stern (2007), Brad Mehldau (2006), Dave Holland (2005), Keith Jarrett (2004), Joe Zawinul (2003), Chick Corea (2002), Michael Brecker (2001), Charlie Haden (2000), Cassandra Wilson (1999), John Scofield (1998), Herbie Hancock (1997), Wayne Shorter (1996), Pat Metheny (1995) and John McLaughlin (1994). Please note that Dave Brubeck was also presented with a special-issue Miles Davis Award last year in recognition of the entirety of his career.
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