Trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard, singer Tammy Lynn, and Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos, founder of the Ponderosa Stomp join jazz writer Larry Blumenfeld to discuss the fight to preserve art and culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Top players in the New Orleans music scene discuss the fight to preserve art and culture in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A live performance by the Terence Blanchard Quartet concludes the evening.
Terence Blanchard is a jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and Golden Globe-nominated film score composer. Since he emerged on the scene in 1980 with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and then shortly thereafter with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Blanchard has been a leading artist in jazz. He was an integral figure in the 1980s jazz resurgence having recorded several award-winning albums and having performed with the jazz elite. He is known as a straight-ahead artist in the hard bop tradition but has recently utilized an African-fusion style of playing that makes him unique from other trumpeters on the performance circuit.
However, it is as a film composer that Blanchard reaches his widest audience. His trumpet can be heard on nearly fifty film scores; more than forty bear his unmistakable compositional style. Since 2000, Blanchard has served as Artistic Director at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. He lives in the Garden District of New Orleans with his wife and four children.
Larry Blumenfeld is a cultural journalist with 20 years of experience writing for leading newspapers, alternative weeklies, websites, and specialized jazz magazines; his work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Salon, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications, and on WNYC-FM in New York.
He is editor-at-large for Jazziz magazine (he was editor-in-chief from 1995-2000) and was formerly editor of Global Rhythm magazine.
His experiences as a Midcareer Fellow at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism's National Arts Journalism Program led him to focus on culture as political force and social statement.
One outgrowth was his essay for the new collection Music in the Post-9/11 World (Routledge), on musical expressions of Sufism in contrast to stereotypes of Islam. He's also written extensively about the stifling effect of Bush administration policies on U.S.-Cuba musical collaborations and on the links between jazz and American identity.
As a volunteer, he produces the Deer Isle Jazz Festival in Stonington, Maine. Though he continues to spend much of his time in New Orleans, Blumenfeld makes his permanent home in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, where he longs during the day to play basketball and at night to hear music performed live.
Teenaged vocalist Tammy Lynn made her music-business debut as a member of Harold Battiste's visionary A.F.O. ("All For One") label collective, one of the earliest African-American-owned record labels in the U.S., which also comprised its own publishing company, At Last.
Lynn, a versatile singer with a powerhouse voice, made her first recordings for A.F.O. in 1963, which included the fire-and-brimstone voodoo rocker "Mojo Hannah." After A.F.O. disbanded, Lynn went on to be a much-in-demand backing vocalist, appearing on landmark recordings such as Dr. John's "Gris Gris" and the Rolling Stones' "Exile On Main Street."
Born in Chicago, Ira "Dr. Ike" Padnos acquired a taste for record collecting and the blues at a young age. As a student at Tulane University, he fell in love with the culture and music of New Orleans.
After graduating with a BA in history, Padnos graduated from the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine with a MD degree. In search of legendary musicians Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, and the Mardi Gras Indians, Padnos moved back to New Orleans in 1995, where, for the last eleven years, he's worked as an assistant professor in the department of anesthesia of Louisiana State University's School of Medicine. Throughout the years, Padnos' record collecting habit grew, until he began throwing annual backyard parties starring his musical heroes.
For his wedding in 2000, he perused his vinyl collection to create a list of all the musicians he'd ever wanted to hear perform - and the ensuing twelve-hour celebration served as the prototype for the Ponderosa Stomp. Hounded by friends and family for a repeat performance, he co-founded the Mystic Knights of the Mau-Mau with fellow enthusiast Michael Hurtt, presenting monthly concerts at the Circle Bar. Ultimately, Padnos conceived the Ponderosa Stomp as an annual festival that would celebrate the truly unsung heroes of rock n' roll. Additionally, he has produced the critically acclaimed Indians of the Nation CD, which documents the Mardi Gras Indians' musical traditions, and has written about music for MOJO and other publications.
Jazz played by a small ensemble featuring collective and solo improvisation. The term is often ascribed especially to the New Orleans pioneers of jazz, although many critics of popular music believe the term better describes the music of a later wave of white Chicago musicians including Jimmy McPartland, Bud Freeman, and Frank Teschemacher. The earliest jazz ensembles grew out of the ragtime and brass bands of New Orleans, incorporating elements of the blues. In early jazz ensembles, such as those led by King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton, the trumpet or cornet plays the melody, with clarinet and trombone providing accompaniment. The tension created by soloists contrasts with the release of ensemble refrains. It is played with a distinctive two-beat rhythm, resulting in a joyous cacophony at fast tempos or slow, mournful dirges. Dixieland groups usually include banjo, tuba, and drums.