The Recording Academy played host to GRAMMYs On The Road at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Aug. 31 – Sept. 3 in downtown Detroit. GRAMMY.com conducted exclusive backstage interviews with artists performing at the festival, including GRAMMY-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard and GRAMMY-nominated organist/pianist Larry Goldings.
Blanchard discussed performing at the Detroit Jazz Festival, discovering his talent and his early musical education, among other topics.
"That moment when somebody who you revere gives you a compliment, is that moment when you start to say, 'Well maybe I can do this,'" said Blanchard. "For me, [it was a compliment from] a local [New Orleans] musician named James Rivers."
Hailing from New Orleans, Blanchard has performed with artists such as Dr. John, Lionel Loueke, Poncho Sanchez, and Stevie Wonder, among others. He earned his first GRAMMY nomination in 1990 for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Group for "Again Never," a collaboration with the Branford Marsalis Quartet. He has won four GRAMMY Awards to date with the latest coming in 2009 for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for "Dancin' 4 Chicken." His recent projects include a 2011 album with Sanchez titled Chano Y Dizzy!, and composing music for the 2012 film Red Tails.
Goldings discussed discovering jazz music, his early musical influences and when he first identified himself as a musician, among other topics.
"I remember there was this green upright piano in my fourth or fifth grade class and I used to play it during recess and a crowd of girls and boys [would] crowd around," Goldings recalled. "All of a sudden I was the piano player guy, and that became my identity in a way. … I feel lucky that music found me because it takes years for a lot of people to have something like that."
Born in Boston, Goldings began playing piano when he was 9. After graduating from the New School for Social Research, he performed as Jon Hendricks' accompanist from 1987–1989. He subsequently worked with guitarist Jim Hall and saxophonist Maceo Parker. In 1991 he released his debut album, The Intimacy Of The Blues. He earned his first GRAMMY nomination in 2006 for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group for "Trio Beyond — Suadades" with drummer Jack DeJohnette and guitarist John Scofield. His most recent release is 2011's In My Room, which features original songs and instrumental covers of Joni Mitchell's "All I Want," the Beach Boys' "In My Room" and the Beatles' "Here, There And Everywhere."
In addition to artist interviews, The Recording Academy also presented GRAMMY SoundTables featuring Detroit Jazz Festival performers discussing their music and careers. Participants included GRAMMY winners Blanchard, Gary Burton and Joe Lovano.
Come back tomorrow for more GRAMMYs On The Road at Detroit Jazz Festival coverage.