Composer and jazz artist Terence Blanchard will be named a BMI Icon at the 35th annual Film, TV and Visual Media Awards of Broadcast Music Inc. on May 15 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.
The five-time Grammy winner and recent Oscar nominee (for “BlacKkKlansman”) has long been director Spike Lee’s favorite composer, having written the scores for “Malcolm X,” “Inside Man,” “25th Hour,” the Katrina documentary “When the Levees Broke” and a dozen other films. His scores for other directors include “Red Tails,” “Eve’s Bayou,” “Barbershop” and others.
Blanchard is a celebrated trumpeter and bandleader whose work as an educator and mentor was previously recognized in 2010 by the performing rights society. He also serves as artistic director of the Detroit Symphony’s jazz series and will premiere his second opera, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” June 15 at Opera Theatre St. Louis.
“As a composer, Terence Blanchard’s music is steeped in jazz, but he’s also an incredibly versatile artist whose works range from film to Broadway to opera and back again,” said BMI vice president Doreen Ringer-Ross. “His emotionally compelling scores make sociological statements about sensitive cultural issues faced by many, both past and present.”
Blanchard joins such previous BMI Icons as John Williams, James Newton Howard, Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, Alan Silvestri, Rachel Portman, David Newman, Danny Elfman, Harry Gregson-Williams and others for their “unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers.”
Composer William Ross will also be honored with BMI’s Classic Contribution Award at the invitation-only event.
Ross will be recognized for his “impeccable skills as an arranger, orchestrator, conductor and composer,” BMI announced. The four-time Emmy winner is the composer of such scores as “My Dog Skip” and “Tuck Everlasting” but is also well-known for his work with John Williams (adapting music for “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”) as well as arranging and conducting for such artists as Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Mariah Carey and others.
Ross is “one of the most sought-after collaborators in the business,” Ross said, also citing past work with producers Quincy Jones and David Foster serving as music director for the Academy Awards on four occasions and contributing music to six Olympic ceremonies.
Throughout the evening, composers of the past year’s top-grossing films, top-rated prime-time television series, and highest-ranking cable and streamed media programs will also be recognized. Co-hosting with Ross will be BMI president and CEO Mike O’Neill.