Terence Blanchard Gets Oscar Nod for BlacKkKlansman

The 56-year-old Grammy winner earns his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Original Score

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Terence Blanchard performing at the 2018 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (photo by Joel A. Siegel)

Terence Blanchard, the renowned New Orleans-based trumpeter and composer, was nominated earlier this week for an Academy Award in the Best Original Score category for his work on BlacKkKlansman, the Spike Lee movie about an African-American detective in 1970s Colorado Springs who infiltrates the KKK.

“Feeling grateful and blessed,” the 56-year-old Grammy Award winner wrote in a public Instagram message. “Thanks to everyone who had a hand in the project. Spike, Marvin, Howard, Greg, Brad, Robin, Oscar, DJ, Misha and of course Charles. If I left Someone out I’m truly sorry but I have to acknowledge those who lift you up and carry you across the finish line.”

Although this is the first Oscar nomination for Blanchard, he has been a longtime collaborator with Lee. Other films he’s scored for the Brooklyn-based director include Jungle Fever, Malcolm X, Clockers, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour, and Inside Man.

The other movies nominated for Best Original Score are Black Panther (Ludwig Goransson), If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell), Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat), and Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman).

BlacKkKlansman was nominated for a total of six awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

The 91st Academy Awards are scheduled to air Sunday, Feb. 24, on ABC.

Read a JazzTimes profile of Terence Blanchard.