DSO's 18-19 Paradise Jazz Series concludes with concert celebrating Terence Blanchard's movie music for Spike Lee, June 2

- Detroit Symphony Orchestra is joined by vocalists Quiana Lynell and Ledisi; Damon Gupton conducts the concert, which will include projected imagery from Lee’s filmography

- DSO will also present free screening of BlacKkKlansman, the most recent collaboration in decades-long Lee/Blanchard partnership

Detroit, (May 22, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) 2018-2019 Paradise Jazz Series comes to a close next month with a captivating grand finale.

A one-night-only concert on the Orchestra Hall stage will celebrate Terence Blanchard and his movie music for acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee. Blanchard and the E-Collective will share the stage with the full DSO and vocalists Quiana Lynell and Ledisi for a multimedia performance merging jazz, classical music, and R&B while images from Lee’s filmography are projected on a full-size screen. Damon Gupton will conduct.

The concert takes place Sunday, June 2 at 4 p.m. in Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

Afterwards, the DSO will present a free screening of BlacKkKlansman in the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, directly across from Orchestra Hall within The Max. The screening begins at 6:30 p.m. and Blanchard will introduce the film. The event is free but reservations are required; see below for more details.

Blanchard, the DSO’s Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair, has scored more than 15 Spike Lee films since the two worked together on 1990’s Mo’ Better Blues. Their most recent collaboration is BlacKkKlansman, which earned Blanchard his first Oscar nomination and Lee his first Oscar win for Best Adapted Screenplay. Other acclaimed Lee films scored by Blanchard include Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Crooklyn, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, Inside Man, and Chi-Raq.

The Paradise Jazz Series is made possible by General Motors with support from MGM Grand Detroit.

About Terence Blanchard

Trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard has served as the DSO’s Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb. Jazz Creative Chair since 2012.

Blanchard has performed and recorded with many of jazz’s superstars and currently leads the celebrated E-Collective. He is also well-known for his decades-long collaboration with filmmaker Spike Lee, scoring more than 15 of Lee’s movies since the early 1990s. 2018’s BlacKkKlansman earned Blanchard his first Academy Award nomination; in and out of the film world, Blanchard has received 14 Grammy nominations and six wins, as well as nominations for Emmy, Golden Globe, Sierra, and Soul Train Music awards.

A New Orleans native, Blanchard was childhood friends with Wynton Marsalis and studied jazz at Rutgers University. He was invited to play with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1982 and later joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He debuted his first solo recording in 1991 and has released more than a dozen acclaimed albums since; he has appeared as a collaborator or sideman on a dozen more. His latest, with the E-Collective, is Live, released on Blue Note in April 2018.

Blanchard has served as artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz since 2000. He has also held artistic leadership positions at Monterey Jazz Festival, Berklee College of Music, and the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami.

About Damon Gupton

Damon Gupton is an acclaimed conductor and Detroit native. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Music and studied conducting with David Zinman and Murry Sidlin at the Aspen Music Festival, as well as Leonard Slatkin at the National Conducting Institute in Washington, DC. Gupton is a regular host of the DSO’s Live from Orchestra Hall: Classroom Edition webcast series and has held fellowship and artistic leadership positions with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Kansas City Symphony. As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, NHK Orchestra, and Orquesta Filarmonica de UNAM.

Also an accomplished actor, Gupton graduated from the Drama Division of The Juilliard School. He appeared in the Broadway production of the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, for which he received an Audelco Awards nomination. His TV appearances include Black Lightning, Dirty John, Criminal Minds, Bates Motel, The Player, Suits, The Newsroom, and more; his film credits include Whiplash, La La Land, This is 40, and Unfaithful. 

About Quiana Lynell

Quiana Lynell is a Texas-born musician who mixes her classical training, gospel upbringing, and jazz expertise to create a sound wholly her own. In addition to performing as a vocalist, she is an accomplished arranger, songwriter, and bandleader. She currently teaches music at a primary school and runs the clinic series “Made in America: Lyrically Speaking,” in which she delves into jazz, blues, and traditional American music from a vocalist’s perspective.

Lynell studied music at Louisiana State University and is a protégé of Terence Blanchard. She has shared the stage with Herlin Riley, Roderick Paulin, Don Vappie, Mitchell Player, the Baton Rouge Symphony, and countless others. She has also performed at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Lynell’s debut solo recording A Little Love was released on Concord Jazz on April 5, 2019.

About Ledisi

Ledisi is a 12-time Grammy-nominated singer and accomplished actress. She has headlined two national sold-out tours and appeared alongside Richie Sambora, Dave Matthews, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Jill Scott, Maxwell, and many more. A favorite of Barack and Michelle Obama, she has performed at the White House eight times; she has also performed on hit TV shows like Good Morning America and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Her most recent recording, Let Love Rule, was released on Verve in 2017 and earned three Grammy nominations.

As an actress, Ledisi has appeared in Selma, Leave It on the Floor, and Leatherheads. Her music has also been featured in For Colored Girls and Meet the Browns.

Event and Ticket Information

Paradise Jazz Series: The Movie Music of Spike Lee and Terence Blanchard

Sunday, June 2 at 4 p.m. at Orchestra Hall

Tickets begin at $19 and can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

Film Screening: BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Sunday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. at The Cube

This event is free and open to the public, but a reservation is required. Make a reservation at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Blanchard will appear to introduce the film.

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 institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. 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 America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven 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.