NEW YORK, NY – (January 19, 2023) – See Me As I Am: Lincoln Center’s Year-Long Celebration of Terence Blanchard launches in March 2023, the first cross-campus exploration of a single artist. Following a long and deep relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and building off of 2021’s historic staging of Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones at The Metropolitan Opera and its forthcoming production of Champion, his work will be featured across Lincoln Center in a diverse and expanded range of art forms. A collaboration of seven arts organizations across campus: Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the year will feature jazz, opera, chamber music, orchestral music, film scores, dance, and more.
“One of the original promises of Lincoln Center was to bring together a consortium of arts organizations working in concert to explore what can be achieved artistically together. There are many great joys and possibilities within this promise and we intend to delve deeply into them all—reaffirming this founding vision and finding intersections through rich collaborations such as these,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. “Terence is the true embodiment of a multi-disciplinary artist and creator, and we are thrilled to be coming together as a campus to center this incredible artist in such a unique way. This banner year shines a light on his impressive canon, looking back on several career highlights in multiple genres, championing some of his lesser-known works, and celebrating his deep focus on artistic works of conscience.”
An esteemed trumpeter, performer, composer, and music educator, Blanchard has been a pioneering artistic force throughout his career. As a prolific film composer, he has scored dozens of feature films, including several major collaborations with director Spike Lee. Most recently at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Opera premiered his opera Fire Shut Up in My Bones, which opened their 2021-22 season, marking the first opera by a Black composer to premiere at the Met.
Showcasing more than half of Lincoln Center’s resident organizations, this first-of-its-kind exploration celebrates the six-time GRAMMY® Award winner and double Oscar® nominee through music, film, and movement.
“I’m overjoyed at the idea of bringing all of my musical experiences together to make one statement about the importance of human connection,” said Terence Blanchard. “Every part of this residency reflects how much I love music on a broader level— I can’t help but feel blessed with how I’ve been to be able to spread my wings.”
Held over twelve months beginning in March 2023, the year of activity includes the following events. Additional events and details will be announced in the coming months:
—Film screening at Film at Lincoln Center on March 20 of the documentary Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues directed by Sacha Jenkins with film score composed by Blanchard. A Q+A with Blanchard will follow the screening.
“We are proud to take part in this Lincoln Center celebration of the work of composer and musician Terence Blanchard, said Dan Sullivan, Programmer, Film at Lincoln Center. “With over 40 film scores to his credit, Terence is well known to film audiences for his work with directors Spike Lee, Kasi Lemmons and others; we look forward to hearing him talk about writing the music for Sacha Jenkins’ recent documentary about legendary jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong.”
—The New York premiere of his critically-acclaimed first opera Champion, based on the story of boxer Emile Griffith, presented by The Metropolitan Opera, April 10-May 13.
“We are happy to be a catalyst of Lincoln Center’s campus wide celebration of one of our most important composers,” said Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb.
—A panel on Champion presented by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on April 13.
“As an institution concerned with preserving the archive of the breadth of the performing arts history, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is honored to participate in Lincoln Center’s multidisciplinary, campus-wide celebration of Terence Blanchard and his work,” said Linda Murray, interim Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
—The New York premiere of Island Prayers, with the Turtle Island Quartet, an ambitious, multi-composer commission featuring works by Blanchard and Rhiannon Giddens and others, co-commissioned by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Meany Performing Arts Center, and The Music Hall.
“As we thought through this year-long celebration and Terence’s impressive body of work, we knew we also wanted to collaborate with him on expanding his repertoire,” said Shanta Thake, Ehrenkranz Chief Artistic Officer of LCPA. “This beautiful night will celebrate the range of influences within the rich cultural spectrum of our continent—weaving together jazz, American roots, and new music with indigenous and folkloric styles. We are thrilled to be a co-commissioner on these exciting new pieces with this ensemble who consistently shifts expectations for what a string quartet can do, and celebrate music that defies genres.”
—Juilliard will prominently feature work by Terence Blanchard in cross-disciplinary performances and workshops and will create opportunities for the school’s students and faculty to collaborate with Blanchard during the year-long celebration.
“Juilliard looks forward to joining our Lincoln Center colleagues in celebrating Terence Blanchard and enjoying many creative performance and academic interactions during his residency,” said Juilliard President Damian Woetzel. “Whether within the many areas of our music division, through collaborations with our dance and our drama divisions—including its growing film initiative, or discourse through public forums, the opportunity for our students and faculty to work with Blanchard is tremendously exciting.”
—At Jazz at Lincoln Center, Blanchard performs his jazz works in a two-night career retrospective in March 2024.
“From the Lionel Hampton Orchestra to the Met Opera, Terence Blanchard has added an important, unique and creative voice to the many genres in which he has worked. And, he has moved millions through his prolific writing for film and television,” said Greg Scholl, Executive Director, Jazz at Lincoln Center. “His work being performed like this across so many different venues speaks to its quality and diversity. Jazz at Lincoln Center is honored to feature Terence in our upcoming season.”
—An on-campus retrospective exhibition of Blanchard and his career.
—A microsite devoted to Blanchard’s multifaceted canon, featuring a career retrospective, digital interviews, and a portal to select livestreams of performances throughout the year.