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Terence Blanchard Named Jazz Chair For The Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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Terence Blanchard DETROIT, MI: Today, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) unveiled one of the most ambitious seasons in recent years for the Paradise Jazz Series—a collection of one-night-only appearances hand-picked by the legendary jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard. Five-time Grammy Award-winning Blanchard will join the DSO as the Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair beginning with the 2012-13 season of the Paradise Jazz Series, sponsored by MGM Grand Detroit.

“We are thrilled to welcome such a renowned jazz musician to oversee our jazz series," said Anne Parsons, DSO President and CEO. “Since Orchestra Hall was once home to the famous Paradise Jazz Theatre, it is very important to us to maintain that legacy by bringing the most talented acts of the genre to Detroit audiences. We believe Terence is the perfect choice to help do just that."

In this role, Blanchard will assist in curating the acts for the Paradise Jazz series and contribute to community education initiatives. As Jazz Chair, he plans to add an unprecedented facet to the position: for the first time in Paradise Jazz Series history, Blanchard will make special guest appearances throughout the season, serving as host and at times even performing with the featured acts.

“I am very excited to play an active role in shaping the future of the DSO's jazz series," said Blanchard. “It was extremely important to me to choose artists who I personally respect and whose talent is indicative of the inspiring jazz history in Detroit."

Blanchard's first appearance at Orchestra Hall following this announcement will be May 4, 2012, when he teams up with Poncho Sanchez for “Cubano Be, Cubano Bop," a tribute to the legendary, genre-transforming relationship between Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie. Blanchard and Sanchez's CD of the same name was released last Fall. . Subscriptions to the 2012-13 Paradise Jazz Series are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (313) 576-5111 or visiting dso.org. Single tickets will go on sale August 2012. Subscribers who purchase the six-concert series will receive the Cassandra Wilson concert for free. Subscriptions start at $90.

The season is scheduled as follows:

Cassandra Wilson
Friday, October 12, 2012 at 8 p.m.
“A singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field," according to critic Gary Giddins. Always evolving and expanding her craft, multi-Grammy winner Cassandra Wilson is considered by many to be one of the greatest vocalists of her generation.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band's Creole Christmas
Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Celebrate with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they “swing in" the holiday season New Orleans style. Seasonal favorites like “Blue Christmas," “Swinging In A Winter Wonderland," “We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and “The Dreydel Song" will be hot and spicy. “America's best traditional jazz band," declares All About Jazz. Treat your family to a Big Easy holiday celebration they'll never forget!

The Jack DeJohnette Group 70th Birthday Tour
Friday, February 1, 2013 at 8 p.m.
Widely regarded as one of jazz music's greatest drummers, 2012 NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette's melodic approach to the drums and subtle but powerful playing keeps him in high demand as a sideman and bandleader. DeJohnette has recorded and collaborated with a host of jazz giants including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk and Betty Carter.

Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour 55th Anniversary
Feat. Christian McBride, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Benny Green, Lewis Nash, Chris Potter and Ambrose Akinmusire
Friday, March 28, 2013 at 8 p.m.
The 55th Anniversary Tour reflects Monterey's “traditional-untraditionalist" attitude, jazz-with-a-purpose exuberance, and joyful fun that continues to be the hallmark of the festival to this day. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear this all-star band, led by Grammy Award-winning bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride, as they celebrate the legacy of the longest running jazz festival in the world.

The Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band
Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8 p.m.
For more than half a century, Roy Haynes has propelled some of the greatest recordings by Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny. His joyous drumming altered the very fabric and direction of jazz improvisation, and his unflagging energy inspires the young lions that currently surround him.

Dave Holland/Kenny Barron
Friday, May 31, 2013 at 8 p.m.
A master of tone and rhythm. Now in his fifth decade as a performer, multi-award and poll-winning bassist, composer and bandleader Dave Holland has been proclaimed “one of the most versatile bassists in jazz," by The Los Angeles Times. Kenny Barron's unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms is what inspired Jazz Weekly to call him “The most lyrical pianist of our time." Holland and Barron will join forces for a rare duo performance.

About Terence Blanchard

Terence Blanchard has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and film score masters of his generation, a member of a jazz legacy that has shaped the contours of modern jazz today. With more than 29 CDs to his credit, Blanchard is a five-time Grammy Award winner and has received multiple Grammy nominations as well as a Golden Globe nod.

Blanchard recently completed work on Lucasfilm's, Red Tails starring Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard and Emmy Award winner Bryan Lee Cranston. In addition to composing the music for the Broadway remake of A Streetcar Named Desire, he has also been commissioned by the Opera St. Louis for a project that will premiere in 2013.

As a film composer, Blanchard has more than 50 scores to his credit and received a Golden Globe nomination for Spike Lee's 25th Hour. Blanchard's music was also recently featured in Spike Lee/HBO's If God is Willing and Da' Creek Don't Rise, commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2006 film, When The Levees Broke. The film shows the current state of Blanchard's native New Orleans five years after Hurricane Katrina, and follows the lives of several individuals and their families in the aftermath of one of the worst disasters to occur in U.S. history. Blanchard won a Grammy for his 2007 CD “A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)," which included tracks from Levees.

Blanchard has served as artistic director at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and was recently named the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami Frost School of Music.
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