Academy Award-nominated trumpeter / composer Terence Blanchard plays DSO Paradise Jazz Series

- Recently Oscar-nominated for his score to Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods, trumpeter and DSO Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard will perform live publicly for the first time in over a year

- Blanchard will be joined by The E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet to perform arrangements of Wayne Shorter’s original work and new music, marking International Jazz Day 2021

- Concert will air exclusively on via DSO Digital Concerts on Friday, April 30 at 8 PM

Detroit, (April 22, 2021) – On Friday, April 30 at 8 PM, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) continues its Paradise Jazz Series with an International Jazz Day celebration performance featuring Terence Blanchard with The E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet.

Since 2012, Blanchard has lent his artistic leadership to the DSO as the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair. He will appear at Orchestra Hall following the 93rd Academy Awards this Sunday, April 25, at which he is nominated for Best Original Score for Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods.

The concert marks Blanchard’s first live public performance in over a year. He will be joined by his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective—featuring young musical pioneers Charles Altura (guitar), James Francies (piano and synthesizers), Oscar Seaton (drums), and David “DJ” Ginyard (bass)—and the two time Grammy Award-winning Turtle Island Quartet comprised of David Balakrishnan (violin), Gabriel Terracciano (violin), Jeremy Kittle (viola), and Malcolm Parson (cello). Please note: the DSO does not appear on this program.

The program will be part of the global celebrations marking International Jazz Day 2021 and will feature music of Wayne Shorter and new original music by Blanchard. It will be streamed live exclusively on via DSO Digital Concerts and will be available to watch on-demand for two weeks following the original performance.

All DSO Digital Concert performances are live streamed from Orchestra Hall and are innovatively programmed with health and safety considerations in mind. Subscribers and select donors receive access to all DSO Digital Concerts, with individual tickets available for purchase. Concerts can be viewed exclusively on or the DSO app via computer, mobile device, or smart TV. Click here to view a full list of digital events.

The Paradise Jazz Series celebrated its 20th anniversary in the 2019-2020 season, concurrent with the centennial year of Orchestra Hall. The series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the jazz and blues venue that Orchestra Hall became from 1941-1951. The DSO is one of few major orchestras worldwide to present a jazz series on its main stage.

The Paradise Jazz Series is made possible with support from TCF Bank and MGM Grand Detroit.



Paradise Jazz Series

Friday, April 30, 2021 at 8:00 p.m.

Performing live publicly for the first time in over a year, Erb Jazz Chair and recently Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard returns to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform music of Wayne Shorter and new original music. Blanchard celebrates both the brilliance of Shorter’s legacy and the inspiration he has given Blanchard, influencing his ever-expanding amalgam of music and storytelling.  

Blanchard will unite his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective, featuring young musical pioneers Charles Altura on guitar, James Francies on piano and synthesizers, Oscar Seaton on drums, and David “DJ” Ginyard on bass, with the double-GRAMMY-winning Turtle Island Quartet with David Balakrishnan on violin, Gabriel Terracciano on violin, Jeremy Kittle on viola, and Malcolm Parson on cello. 

Enjoy this live performance safely from the comfort of your home.

*Please note: The DSO does not appear on this program.


Terence Blanchard Featuring The E-Collective

Terence Blanchard, composer and trumpeter

Charles Altura, guitar

James Francies, piano

David “DJ” Ginyard, bass

Oscar Seaton, drums


Turtle Island Quartet

David Balakrishnan, violin

Gabriel Terracciano, violin

Jeremy Kittle, viola

Malcolm Parson, cello



About Terence Blanchard

Oscar nominee, six-time Grammy-winner and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present.

From his expansive work composing the scores for Spike Lee films ranging from the documentary When the Levees Broke – about Blanchard’s hometown of New Orleans during the devastation from Hurricane Katrina – to the epic Malcolm X; and the latest Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, which was released by Netflix on June 12, 2020, Blanchard has interwoven melodies that created strong backdrops to human stories.

Blanchard received an Oscar nomination for his original score for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. He was also BAFTA nominated for his original music for the film. He won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for writing “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil)”, a track from BlacKkKlansman.

More recently, Blanchard has composed his second opera, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, based on the memoir of celebrated writer and The New York Times columnist Charles Blow. The libretto was written by Kasi Lemmons and commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where it premiered in June 2019. The New York Times has called Blanchard’s opera “inspiring,” “subtly powerful” and “a bold affecting adaptation of Charles Blow’s work.” The Metropolitan Opera will premiere Fire Shut Up in My Bones on September 27, 2021 to open their 2021-22 season in New York, making it the first opera composed by an African American composer to premiere at the Met. Blanchard’s first opera, Champion also premiered to critical acclaim in 2013 at OTSL and starred Denyce Graves with a libretto from Pulitzer Prize Winner, Michael Cristofer.

With his current quintet, The E-Collective, featured on the score to BlacKkKlansman with a 96-piece orchestra, Blanchard delivered “a soaring, seething, luxuriant score,” The New York Times. In Vice Magazine, Blanchard elaborates, “In BlacKkKlansman it all became real to me. You feel the level of intolerance that exists for people who ignore other people’s pain. Musically, I can’t ignore that. I can’t add to that intolerance. Instead, I have to help people heal from it.”

Some of Blanchard’s other film and television credits include Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man, and Miracle at St. Anna; Kasi Lemmons’ films, Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me, and Harriet; George Lucas’ Red Tails; Tim Story’s Barbershop; the powerful documentary On the Record which was directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and premiered on HBO Max in May 2020; and the critically acclaimed drama series Perry Mason starring Matthew Rhys with episodes directed by Tim Van Patten which premiered on HBO in June 2020.

Blanchard scored One Night in Miami which marks Regina King’s feature directorial debut and was acquired by Amazon Studios and premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September. The film is scheduled to open in select theaters on December 25, 2020 and will launch on Prime Video on January 15, 2021. Blanchard also wrote the music for the upcoming feature film Bruised which is the directorial debut for Halle Berry who also stars and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Regarding his consistent attachment to artistic works of conscience, Blanchard confesses, “You get to a certain age when you ask, ‘Who’s going to stand up and speak out for us?’ Then you look around and realize that the James Baldwins, Muhammad Alis and Dr. Kings are no longer here...and begin to understand that it falls on you. I’m not trying to say I’m here to try to correct the whole thing, I’m just trying to speak the truth.” In that regard, he cites unimpeachable inspirations. “Max Roach with his ‘Freedom Now Suite,’ John Coltrane playing ‘Alabama,’ even Louis Armstrong talking about what was going on with his people any time he was interviewed. Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter who live by their Buddhist philosophy and try to expand the conscience of their communities. I’m standing on all of their shoulders. How dare I come through this life having had the blessing of meeting those men and not take away any of that? Like anybody else, I’d like to play feel good party music but sometimes my music is about the reality of where we are.”

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About Turtle Island Quartet

Since its inception in 1985, the Turtle Island Quartet (TIQ) has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Winner of the 2006 and 2008 Grammy Awards for Best Classical Crossover category, Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with contemporary American musical styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined. Cellist nonpareil Yo-Yo Ma has proclaimed TIQ to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground – authentic and passionate – a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”

The Quartet’s birth was the result of violinist David Balakrishnan’s brainstorming explorations and compositional vision while writing his master’s thesis at Antioch University West. The journey has taken Turtle Island through forays into folk, bluegrass, swing, be-bop, funk, R&B, new age, rock, hip-hop, as well as music of Latin America and India ...a repertoire consisting of hundreds of ingenious arrangements and originals. It has included over a dozen recordings on labels such as Windham Hill, Chandos, Koch and Telarc, soundtracks for major motion pictures, TV and radio credits such as the Today Show, All Things Considered, Prairie Home Companion, and Morning Edition, feature articles in People and Newsweek magazines, and collaborations with famed artists such as clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera; vibraphonist Stefon Harris; guitar legends Leo Kottke and the Assad brothers; The Manhattan Transfer; pianists Billy Taylor, Kenny Barron, Cyrus Chestnut, and Ramsey Lewis; singers Tierney Sutton and Nellie McKay; the Ying Quartet; and the Parsons and Luna Negra Dance Companies.

Another unique element of Turtle Island is their revival of venerable improvisational and compositional chamber traditions that have not been explored by string players for nearly 200 years. At the time of Haydn’s apocryphal creation of the string quartet form, musicians were more akin to today’s saxophonists and keyboard masters of the jazz and pop world, i.e., improvisers, composers, and arrangers. Each Turtle Island member is accomplished in these areas of expertise.

As Turtle Island members continue to refine their skills through the development of repertory by some of today’s cutting-edge composers, through performances and recordings with major symphonic ensembles, and through a determined educational commitment, the Turtle Island Quartet stakes its claim as the quintessential ‘New World’ string quartet of the 21st century.

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About the DSO

The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who concluded a decade-long tenure at the helm in 2018, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in eight metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.