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Terence Blanchard’s ‘Live’ Shares The Healing Power Of Jazz

ideastream's Dan Polletta with trumpeter Terence Blanchard [ideastream]

Grammy Award-winning composer and jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard returns to Cleveland Saturday to perform music that he says he hopes will “heal” a nation torn apart by gun violence.

In 2015, Blanchard and his E-Collective Group addressed the growing tension between the African-American community and law enforcement with their recording “Breathless,” but he said in a 2017 interview with ideastream that he felt there was more to say about the subject.

“We felt like the issue hasn’t been resolved. The worry now is that there won’t be any attention paid to it because the news media is covering tweets these days,” Blanchard said.

With that in mind, Blanchard and his group undertook a four city tour early in 2017. The places, including Cleveland, Minneapolis and New York had been the sites of high profile incidents of conflicts between African-Americans and police. In the case of Dallas, Blanchard wanted to acknowledge the shooting of police officers who had marched with Black Lives Matter activists.

Blanchard’s specifically chose Cleveland because of the 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by police, an event that Blanchard said “incredibly frustrated him.”

The E-Collective recorded the music they performed in Cleveland at the Bop Stop at the Music Settlement as well as the other cities. Selections from those performances were to be released under the title “Caravan,” but Blue Note Records chose instead to title the date “ Live,” which they issued this year.

For Blanchard, the music the group made isn’t just to call attention to injustice.

“We’re trying to heal a country. That’s the purpose behind what we’ve been doing. It’s a moment in time where artists are going to have to take up the mantle and run with it.”

Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective Band perform at the Bop Stop at the Music Settlement Saturday at 10:30 p.m. as part of the 2018 Tri-C JazzFest.