Conversation with Terence Blanchard & Kevin Willmott

Free and open to the public

Join us for a conversation between seven-time Grammy-winner and two-time Oscar-nominee Terence Blanchard and Oscar-winner Kevin Willmott. The conversation will focus on balancing social justice and entertainment as well as the social impact of music and movies. This event is free and open to the public and is presented in conjunction with Terence Blanchard’s Film Scores Live! performance on November 2 (ticketed event).

Terence Blanchard, seven-time Grammy winner and twice Oscar-nominated film composer, stands tall as one of jazz’s most-esteemed trumpeters and defies expectations by creating a spectrum of artistic pursuits. Blanchard, who is the newly appointed SFJAZZ executive artistic director, is unique in the jazz world as an artist whose creative endeavors go far beyond the genre into film scoring, crafting television series soundscapes and conceiving grand operas that have been recognized at the highest levels of art appreciation. He has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies—past and present. From his expansive work composing the scores for almost 20 Spike Lee projects over three decades, ranging from the documentary When the Levees Broke to the recent Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, Blanchard has interwoven beautiful melodies that created strong backdrops to human stories. He received an Oscar nomination for his original score for Da 5 Bloods in 2021, which marked his second nomination. Blanchard previously received an Oscar nomination for his original score for Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

Kevin Willmott is an Academy Award-Winning film director and screenwriter, and a professor of film at the University of Kansas. Willmott has collaborated with Spike Lee, with whom he shared an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman (2018). The two again collaborated on Da 5 Bloods (2020). Willmott’s credits also include films such as The 24th, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, Destination: Planet Negro!, Jayhawkers and more.

Watch a 2023 Zoom conversation between KU Professors Darren Canady and Kevin Willmott (opens in Vimeo) >

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