RAPIDS, MI, Aug. 29, 2019 – Dubbed “one of his generation’s most artistically
mature and innovative artists and a committed supporter of jazz education,”
trumpeter and six-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard will
be the special guest artist for the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 19th
annual Symphony with
Soul on Feb. 29, 2020, in DeVos Performance Hall.
tickets, on sale today, will start at $18 adults, $5 students, for
the annual concert celebrating diversity and inclusion in West Michigan. But
ticket buyers who act soon can get tickets at a 30 percent discount by
calling the Grand Rapids Symphony at (616) 454-9451 or by coming to the Grand
Rapids Symphony ticket office at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW during normal business
the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for
his work titled Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil), Terence Blanchard has
composed music for more than 50 films. Beginning with Spike Lee's 1991
film Jungle Fever, Blanchard has composed the score for
every Lee film ever since including the 2018 film BLacKkKlansman for
which Blanchard was nominated for the Academy Award for Best
and his band, The E-Collective, will be joined by vocalist Quiana Lynell, winner of the 2017
International Sarah Vaughan Vocal Jazz Competition. The Concert Sponsor
is Bank of America, and the Guest Artist Sponsor is Ferris
Conductor John Varineau will lead the Grand Rapids
Symphony in the evening of gospel, spirituals, jazz, blues, and R&B,
featuring community musicians joining together with nationally renowned artists
to perform for the wider community.
with Soul also features the Grand Rapids
Symphony Community Chorus, a vocal ensemble that sings in the
gospel tradition, led by Duane Shields Davis.
year’s special guests for Symphony with Soul was Black
Violin. Past guest artists also include singers Lalah Hathaway and Dee
Dee Bridgewater, pianist Marcus Roberts, the Regina
Carter Quintet, and Take 6.
director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz from 2000 to
2011, Blanchard has served as Jazz Creative Chair of the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra, as artistic director of the Henry Mancini
Institute at the University of Miami, and as a visiting scholar in jazz
composition at Berklee College of Music. In June, he was named the first Kenny
Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of
by Wynton Marsalis as his replacement in Art Blakey’s
Jazz Messengers in 1982, Blanchard went on to become the band’s music
director before launching a solo career in 1990 with a self-titled debut album
for Columbia Records that reached No. 3 on the Billboard Jazz chart.
performing on Spike Lee’s films, Do the Right Thing and Mo’
Better Blues, the film director invited Blanchard to compose original
music for films including Malcom X in 1992 and Inside
Man in 2006. Blanchard also has composed film music for other
directors for films such as Primal Fear starring
Richard Gere in 1996, Random Hearts starring Harrison
Ford in 1999, People I Know starring Al Pacino in 2002.
past appearance in Grand Rapids include at St. Cecilia Music Center in
March 2016 with Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour alongside an all-star ensemble
of including Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophones, Gerald Clayton on
piano, Joe Sanders on bass; Justin Brown on drums, and Grammy Award-winning
vocalist Patti Austin.
for Symphony with Soul include young musicians from the Grand
Rapids Symphony’s Mosaic Scholarship Program for talented
African-American and Latinx students. The program provides teenage students
with one-on-one lessons with a Grand Rapids Symphony musician plus the use of a
musical instrument, music, supplies, and tickets to Grand Rapids Symphony
concerts at no cost to the student.
the program is the anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” First
performed in 1900 by a group of 500 school children for President Lincoln’s
birthday celebration, the cherished song of the Civil Rights Movement is the
traditional opener for the community celebration in DeVos Hall.
year, Symphony with Soul is preceded by Celebration of
Soul, a gala dinner honoring the accomplishments of
individuals and organizations in the community that emphasize and celebrate the
importance of cultural awareness and inclusion in West Michigan.
for Symphony with Soul start at $18 and are
available at the Grand Rapids Symphony box office, weekdays 9 a.m.
- 5 p.m. at 300 Ottawa Ave. NW, Suite 100, (located across the street from
Calder Plaza). Call (616) 454-9451 x 4 to order by phone. (Phone orders will be
charged a $2 per ticket service fee, with a $12 maximum).
are available at the DeVos Place ticket office, weekdays 10 a.m. -
6 p.m. or on the day of the concert beginning two hours before the performance.
Tickets also may be purchased online at GRSymphony.org.
students of any age are able to purchase tickets for only $5 on
the day of the concert by enrolling in the GRS Student Ticket program.
age 7-18 also are able to attend for free when accompanied by an adult. Free for Kids tickets
must be purchased in advance at the GRS Ticket office. Up to two free
tickets are available with the purchase of a regular-price adult
ticket. Go online for more details.
Symphony Scorecard provides
up to four free tickets for members of the community receiving financial
assistance from the State of Michigan and for members of
the U.S. Armed Forces, whether on active or reserve duty or serving
in the National Guard. Go online for information to sign up with a Symphony
Scorecard Partner Agency
Grand Rapids Symphony
in 1930, the Grand Rapids
Symphony is nationally recognized for the quality of its
concerts, the breadth of its educational programs, and the innovation of its
efforts to support diversity, equity and inclusion as well as to serve the
wider community in non-traditional settings. Led by Music Director Marcelo Lehninger,
Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt and
Associate Conductor John Varineau,
the Grand Rapids Symphony presents nine concert series each year. Its Gateway to Music provides
a matrix of 18 unique access and educational programs for adults and children
of all ages. Altogether, West Michigan’s largest performing arts organization
offers more than 400 performances per year, touching the lives of some 200,000,
nearly half of whom are students, senior citizens or people with disabilities.
Affiliated organizations include the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus,
the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus,
and the biennial Grand Rapids
Bach Festival, which returns in April 2021. GRS collaborates
annually with Opera Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Ballet and
biennially with the Gilmore Keyboard
Festival in Kalamazoo.