Terence Blanchard Named First Kenny Burrell Chair at UCLA

Officials say the position will help the program attract the highest caliber of jazz instruction

Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard

Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter, composer, and music educator Terence Blanchard has been named the first Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music.

The chair was established to honor Burrell, a legendary jazz guitarist and composer. Burrell founded the jazz studies program at UCLA and served as director from 1996 to 2016. UCLA started the search five months ago, seeking a senior faculty member who will help establish the the school’s new Global Jazz Studies major. The position is essential for the school’s new global jazz studies program, ensuring that the program will attract the highest caliber of jazz instruction at UCLA, according to school officials.

A prolific musician, Blanchard launched his solo career as a bandleader in the 1990s. He has since released 20 solo albums, composed more than 50 film scores, and received 10 major commissions. Among these works is Champion: An Opera in Jazz, which was commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and debuted in 2013, as well as work for Broadway revivals, plays, dance and for national orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This year, Blanchard received an Oscar nod for best original score for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

His latest projects include his new album Live, featuring seven songs recorded live in concert with his current quintet, the E-Collective.

The announcement arrives about a month after Burrell’s wife launched an online fund raising campaign to help the musician afford medical bills following an accident at a concert in 2016. Since then, the campaign has raised more than $150,000.

For more on Blanchard and the new position, click here.

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