This Day in Black History: March 13, 1962

Jazz great Terence Blanchard was born in New Orleans.

Posted: 03/13/2013 07:00 AM EDT

(Photo: Mark Mainz/Getty Images)

Jazz trumpeter, composer and band leader Terence Blanchard was born in New Orleans, on March 13, 1962.

He got his first taste of music young, learning to play piano at age 5 and taking up the trumpet at age 8. While still in high school, he studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. In the 1980s, he continued his training, studying under jazz saxophonist Paul Jeffrey and trumpeter Bill Fielder at Rutgers University and touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. After joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers group in 1983, he went on form a band co-led with saxophonist Donald Harrison, starting what would become a successful recording career.

Blanchard is a five-time Grammy Award winner, including winning the large jazz ensemble award in 2007 for his album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina), inspired by the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, his hometown, in 2005. He is also an accomplished Broadway composer and film-score and soundtrack composer, most recently working on George Lucas’ Red Tails film (2012).

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