Memphis -- home of blues, rock 'n' roll and gospel -- has long helped the world move to different grooves. It is also the city that stoked the creative fire of classically-trained bass vocalist Jonathan A. Blanchard.
Blanchard will visit Northeast State Community College on Feb. 25 for a 7 p.m. performance at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus in Blountville. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Blanchard's talent matured while he was immersed in Memphis' often raucous, inspirational, yet always divergent style of music and art. His voice of depth and richness draws comparisons to Paul Robeson and movingly conveys the poignant words and melodies reminiscent of "Al Jarreau, Bobby McFerrin and Robeson simultaneously."
Blanchard's artistic tastes were first forged in grade school; however, by the time he entered high school, his artistic curiosity had led him to sing in various choruses and to act in a number of community theatre productions.
While earning his bachelor's degree in commercial music and his master's degree in music education from Tennessee State University, Blanchard learned to weave the various elements of his artistic nature into his style of delivery.
His stage credits include roles as the priest in "Your Arm's Too Short to Box with God," Bernardo in "West Side Story," Simeon and Potifer in "Joseph's Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," Caesar in "Scipio," the ex-slave in "Do Lord Remember Me" and the lion in "The Wiz."
Drawn also to television and film, he has appeared as an extra in several movies, done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on a Memphis WREG "Live at 9" program and was a featured singing artist on the PBS film "Underground Railroad -- Quilt Code" for Georgia Public Broadcast.
Blanchard has also presented concerts, master classes and demonstrations for students in elementary school through college.
In conjunction with Opera Memphis' Educational Outreach Program -- Black Roots in Opera, Blanchard toured throughout Tennessee's major metropolitan areas to help celebrate the life and artistry of Paul Robeson.
Blanchard's other operatic credits include affiliations with Opera Memphis and the AmeriColor Opera Alliance Guild of Atlanta. He was given the title role of Solomon in the production "The Seduction of King Solomon," a work written especially for him by critically acclaimed composer Sharon Willis. His other performances with the Americolor Opera Alliance Guild include "Madame C.J. Walker," "Three Kings and a Prince," "The Herndons," "The Great Divide" and "The Candlers of Callan."
For more information, call (423) 279-7669 or visit www.jonathanblanchard.com.
|Kingsport Christmas Tree Lighting|
|Held on Saturday, December 4, 2010. The Sevier Middle School orchestra played in the progress building at 6:00. The gingerbread house exhibit was held at the Regions bank. Music, reading of the Christmas Story, hot chocolate, hot apple cider and cookies, sing-a-long where held at Church Circle.|