© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Power and Artistry: A Conversation with Jazz Legend Terence Blanchard

Terence Blanchard is in Cleveland for an appearance with The Cleveland Orchestra.

Few musicians tower like Terence Blanchard. The eight-time Grammy winner has been recording for more than four decades, and though his early work recalls the legacy of midcentury greats, for years now, Blanchard has been remaking and reshaping the genre, turning it into a force to give voice to social change. A trumpeter, pianist, composer, Blanchard has pushed the genre and his own artistry beyond jazz to opera and film scores.

Blanchard began playing in his teenage years with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. By the 1980s, he was playing with Art Blakley's Jazz Messengers. In the 90s, he began performing solo and working with filmmaker Spike Lee, a collaboration that would include films from Do the Right Thing to BlacKKKlansman. During the same period of time, he began to work in opera, turning Charles Blow's 2014 memoir Fire Shut Up in My Bones into an opera for the Metropolitan Opera's 2021-2022 season, marking the first time a project from an African-American composer was presented from the Met's world-renowned stage.

Blanchard is in Cleveland for an appearance with The Cleveland Orchestra's Mandel Opera and Humanities Festival, where he will perform the music of Wayne Shorter. Before he does, he'll join moderator Jeff Johnson on our stage for a conversation about power and his own artistry and what it means to use music to address social


  • Terence Blanchard
    Award-winning Musician and Composer


  • Jeff Johnson
    Managing Director, Actum