Terence Blanchard, one of the great players of contemporary jazz, is in Philadelphia this week to teach high school students the ropes.
The New Orleans native, who grew up with jazz greats Branford and Wynton Marsalis, has won multiple Grammy Awards and composed almost 50 film scores, including the Spike Lee documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, “When the Levees Broke.” It was released as the album “A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina).”
However, he did not grow up with a trumpet in his mouth. Although part of a musical family, Blanchard had a penchant for football.
The Mann Center invited Blanchard to teach the three-day master class, where he told students from the Philadelphia High School of Creative and Performing Arts and Girard Academic Music Program that it was only after someone came to his grade school to demonstrate the trumpet that he took it up in earnest.
“I’m no different than them,” said Blanchard in an interview at the Clef Club on Broad Street. “I came along the same way they came along, in programs exactly like this.”