Terence Blanchard’s Caravan Rolls On

When I heard that Terence Blanchard named his latest tour “Caravan,” I figured it had to do with the Juan Tizol-Duke Ellington tune that Blanchard must have played again and again as a young trumpeter in drummer Art Blakey’s band.

Nope. It was meant more to suggest “a group of like-minded people moving around the country with a message,” Blanchard told me.

As I worked on a long piece for The Daily Beast about Blanchard—on connections between his band’s current tour and the aftermath of senseless violence, and on his ambitions as both musician and concerned citizen—I kept having to update the story to reflect breaking news: Blanchard gets nominated for a Best-Score Oscar; another black man gets shot by another white cop; Trump tweeted what?; the Met Opera announces Blanchard’s opera as its first presentation composed by an African American…

Here’s what I came up with, thankfully not behind any pay wall, under the headline “Can A Trumpet Silence a Gun?”

My piece focuses in part on the premiere of Blanchard’s “Caravan: A Revolution on the Road” at the Soluna Festival in Dallas—a performance that was meant as both a continuation of his musical response to troubling issues and a fresh attempt to blend visual art and dance into his performance, through collaborations with artist Andrew Scott and choreographer Rennie Harris’s Pure American Street Dance Theater Company.

Here‘s a link to some of that performance, courtesy of the artist Andrew Scott.

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