NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — In a city that births legends, it is nothing short of a celebration when a native returns home.

Taking a detour from a busy schedule, composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard is in town this week to perform at Jazz Fest.

Blanchard has an opera premiering at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, making history as the only African American composer to play at the Met. He is currently on tour with his band, “E-Collective,” and he’s been writing the scores for dozens of TV and film projects, including the new Perry Mason series.

Now he is performing here and he credits his training for giving him the foundation to do so much.

“It starts with great education. That’s one of the reasons I’m such a big fan of NOCCA and the arts high schools and all of the private teachers that I had like Roger Dickerson, Eliss Marsalis, George Jensen, ” Blanchard told WGNO’s LBJ.

“Those guys gave me the foundation that I still use and I’m able to grow. In fact when I’m teaching, I’m still teaching the stuff that Roger taught me back when I was in junior high,” said Blanchard.

Check out the full interview below:

Blanchard will perform in the Jazz tent, Saturday (May 7)at 5:45 p.m. He’ll also play a set with Herbie Hancock at Jazz Fest on Sunday.

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