Seven-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Oscar nominee Terence Blanchard has been named SFJAZZ’s new Executive Artistic Director.
“I am honored and thrilled to be part of such an incredible and historic institution,” Blanchard said. “SFJAZZ has contributed so much to the development of America’s greatest art form. I look forward to collaborating with the staff while contributing my own ideas on how to move our music forward and further SFJAZZ’s mission to explore the full spectrum of jazz – from its origins to its diverse and evolving expressions in the world today. I look forward to continuing this journey.
Blanchard, who starts immediately, succeeds Randall Kline, the founder of SFJAZZ who is preparing to leave the arts organization he started in 1983 this year.
“Terence Blanchard is an extraordinary artist whose experience and accomplishments make him an ideal creative leader for SFJAZZ, building on the incredible legacy that Randall Kline has worked to create over the past 40 years,” said Greg Stern, CEO of SFJAZZ.
Blanchard, an incredibly accomplished composer, bandleader and trumpeter, “will lead the organization’s artistic programming and guide its overall creative direction,” according to a press release.
His career spans over 40 years, from his time in the early 80s with the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers to composing film scores for Spike Lee and others. He received an American Artist Fellowship in 2018 as well as a Peabody Medal in 2023 and has held positions at the Berklee Institute of Music, Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
This appointment is the final chapter in what has been a long relationship between Blanchard and SFJAZZ. He has performed for the organization several times over the years and served as SFJAZZ’s Resident Artistic Director from 2014-2016.
“As Executive Artistic Director, Blanchard will serve as the artistic head of the organization and help formulate and implement artistic programming across various disciplines and genres,” according to the press release. “He will work closely with the SFJAZZ teams to organize year-round concert programming, expand the SFJAZZ ‘At Home’ digital platform, and further develop community engagement and educational offerings.”
Blanchard’s appointment follows a nationwide search by Arts Consulting Group.
Blanchard joins the arts organization as it hosts the 40th San Francisco Jazz Festival, which runs through June 18 and includes more than 40 shows. For more information, visit sfjazz.org.
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