Los Angeles, CA-September 10, 2007-New Orleans has long been known as "The City that Care Forgot," referring to the carefree and easy-going nature of its residents, but in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina these words have taken on an ironic new meaning as New Orleans silently fades from our collective attention. We all watched in disbelief from the safety of our TVs the plight of the thousands who were left behind to fend for themselves as the levees broke, and we saw peoples’ homes as well as some of the nation’s most cherished landmarks submerged under the overfed Mississippi River. At this moment the hurricane and the flooding may be over but the devastation continues. In response to this ongoing tragedy, on August 14, 2007 Blue Note Records has released Terence Blanchard’s A Tale Of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina).
New Orleans is widely accepted as the birthplace of jazz, and from its humble Ragtime beginnings to the fusion and improvisation of today, jazz has remained a staple of The Big Easy’s diverse culture. The city is also the birthplace of Terence Blanchard, and from an early age Terence answered the call of this truly American art form through his piano playing and later with his trumpet. He is as authentic a jazz musician as you will find today and, in addition to being a multiple Grammy winner and the Artistic Director of The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, he has emerged as one of New Orleans musical ambassadors to the world.
When Spike Lee decided to make his HBO documentary, "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts," about the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, he wanted to capture the authentic voice of New Orleans through its native form of expression, and who better to speak for the Crescent City than jazz musician and Katrina refugee Terence Blanchard? Lee and Blanchard have a long history of collaboration with Blanchard providing the musical scores for many of Lee’s films beginning with "Mo' Better Blues" in 1990.
When Blanchard returned to New Orleans to begin work on the soundtrack in 2006, he was stunned by the emptiness and the silence that occupied the once vibrant and musical landscape, and he became determined to fill the quiet with a musical tribute to his beloved city. Using the score of "When The Levees Broke" as a springboard he has expanded on the themes of the film, and has included more original material including new compositions by his fellow bandmates; bassist Derrick Hodge, pianist Aaron Parks, drummer Kendrick Scott and saxophonist Brice Winston. A Tale Of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina) also features a 40 piece orchestra string section.
The release of A Tale Of God’s Will (A Requiem For Katrina) will be accompanied by a worldwide tour with Terence Blanchard and his band, as well as dates featuring guest appearances by Spike Lee that will focus on their work together and, above all, the music of "When The Levees Broke."
Company: Miles High Productions
Address: 6622 Delongpre Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90028