The New Orleans native was in and out of our town quite a bit last year, as Opera Theater St. Louis premiered his opera Champion as part of their 2013 season. In addition to working with OTSL's company to prepare the premiere, Blanchard also appeared at a number of community events to promote the opera, and played free concerts with his quintet at Missouri Botanical Garden and St. Louis Place Park. (For more about that and some biographical background of Blanchard, see this video showcase post from last year.)
He'll be back in St. Louis next week to perform as part of the Sheldon's jazz series, replacing pianist Chucho Valdes, who originally was scheduled to play the date but had to cancel due to a tour-ending knee injury he suffered a few weeks ago.
The concert will give local audiences another chance to hear some of the material from Blanchard's most recent album Magnetic, which was released last year at the end of May (just before the premiere of Champion) and wound up on many critics' "best of 2013" lists.
Since many Blanchard basics were covered in the previous post linked above, today's collection of clips will feature some more recent performances by his quintet, plus a couple of interviews recorded since his last performances here.
In the first clip up above, you can hear Blanchard and the quintet perform the title track from Magnetic at Blues Alley in Washington, DC.
Down below, there's a full concert of the group, recorded in September 2013 at The Mint in Los Angeles. (Note that since the clip apparently is unedited, there's a couple of minutes of an empty stage before Blanchard and company come up and start playing.)
Below that, there's an interview that Blanchard recorded last summer with the online jazz program The Pace Report; and lastly, another interview in three short segments in which he chats with fellow New Orleanian Arthel Neville, broadcaster and daughter of keyboardist Art Neville of the Neville Brothers and Meters fame.