The National Concert Hall’s summer jazz season continues with performances tonight and tomorrow from two highly accomplished American artists.
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and his quintet take to the stage tonight. The New Orleans native entered the scene in the early 1980s, and served stints in the bands of jazz masters Art Blakey and Lionel Hampton.
Blanchard, 49, has since moved on to become one of the most recognized musicians of his generation, with a long list of composer credits and several Grammys.
His hard bop style of playing was featured on McCoy Tyner’s Illuminations (2005), which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental album. Blanchard and his quintet also earned a Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Grammy for their 2007 album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), which included pieces heard in Spike Lee’s 2006 documentary on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Blanchard, also known as a prolific film composer with more than 50 movie scores under his belt, is a longtime collaborator of Lee’s. He composed the soundtracks for the director’s early 1990s films Jungle Fever and Malcolm X, as well as the 2006 box office hit Inside Man.
For tonight’s show, he will be joined by Brice Winston on saxophone, Fabian Almazan on piano, Joshua Crumbly on bass and Kendrick Scott on drums.
Tomorrow’s concert shifts from Blanchard’s sophisticated, African fusion-influenced bop sound to down-home gospel blues, funk and soul by pianist Ramsey Lewis and his quintet.
Lewis, 76, has a gospel and classical background that has deeply influenced his sound today, a combination of virtuosic piano playing, danceable grooves and soul.
What and When: The Terence Blanchard Quintet tonight at 7:30pm, and the Ramsey Lewis Quintet tomorrow at 7:30pm
Where: National Concert Hall, 21-1 Zhongshan S Rd, Taipei City (台北市中山南路21-1號)
Admission: From NT$1,200 to NT$2,500, tickets available at the venue, NTCH ticketing outlets or online at www.artsticket.com.tw
On The Net: event.ntch.edu.tw/2011/jazz/, www.terenceblanchard.com, www.ramseylewis.com
The Chicago native made his initial mark on the jazz world in the 1960s with soul jazz albums such as The In Crowd and the song Hold It Right There, both of which earned him Grammy awards.
He dipped into jazz fusion in the 1970s, switching to electric piano for his hit album Sun Goddess (1974), which reunited him with a former bandmate, singer Maurice White of jazz fusion and disco group Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 2007, Lewis received a Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the highest official recognition for jazz musicians in the US. He will be joined on stage tomorrow by guitarist Henry Johnson, keyboardist Tim Gant, bassist Joshua Ramos and drummer Charles Heath.
The National Concert Hall’s jazz program concludes on Sept. 9 with a concert by jazz fusion/smooth jazz group Yellowjackets. For more details on the program and artists, visit event.ntch.edu.tw/2011/jazz.