By Andrew Gans
10 Mar 2011
Blanchard has established himself as one of the most influential jazz musicians and composers of his generation. He is a five-time Grammy Award winner who often finds himself touring with his band and jazz giants Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter and the rap artist Common. The music for Motherf**ker with the Hat will mark Blanchard’s debut on Broadway. He is also working on his first opera.
As artistic director, Blanchard, according to press notes, will conduct the Mancini Institute Orchestra and introduce its musicians to a "wide range of musical styles that will prepare them for the changing world of music they are about to enter, such as performing and recording the music of iconic film composers, multi-media recording for television specials, and providing multi-cultural and multi-style performance and recording opportunities."
The Mancini Institute Orchestra features a full orchestra (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion), plus an additional complement of jazz instruments (saxophones, trombones, trumpets), world percussion and rhythm section instruments (piano, bass, drums, guitar). The ensemble also performs in smaller chamber music configurations throughout the year."
In a statement Shelton Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music, said, "Terence Blanchard is ideally suited to lead the Henry Mancini Institute. He is a brilliant and inspired musician, with almost an unmatched panoply of skills. Terence is also a wonderful and inspired teacher, and he will play a leading role in fostering great musicians of the future."
Blanchard will travel to Miami to work with the Henry Mancini Institute regularly throughout the year. He will be supported in his efforts by violinist, arranger and HMI resident conductor Scott Flavin and HMI outreach coordinator, Stephen Guerra.
Graduate students who participate in the program are recruited to become “Mancini Fellows,” receiving free graduate tuition from the University of Miami and financial stipends that are funded through private donations.