Memphis, the undisputed home of Blues, Rock & Roll, and Gospel, has long helped the world move to different grooves. It is also the history of the city that channeled the creative fire in the soul of classically trained bass vocalist Jonathan A. Blanchard.
Come hear one of music’s most transcendent bass voices when Blanchard visits Northeast State on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. for one special performance at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the main campus in Blountville. Admission is free and open to all.
Born in November of 1976, Blanchard’s talent matured while immersed in Memphis’s often raucous, inspirational, yet always divergent style of music and art. His voice of depth and richness draws comparisons to the great Paul Robeson. He creates music that allows his deep, soulfully rich voice to blend naturally with his compelling dramatic instinct. He 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 achieving the Bachelors of Science in Commercial Music and the Master of Science in Music Education degrees from Tennessee State University, he learned to weave the various elements of his artistic nature into his style of delivery. His stage credits include roles as diverse as “The Priest” in Your Arms Too Short to Box with God, “Bernardo” in A Westside Story, “Simeon” and “Potifer” in Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, “Caesar” in Scipio, the “Ex-Slave” in Do Lord Remember Me, “The Lion” in The Wiz.
Drawn also to film, he has appeared as an extra in several movies block-busters, done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis WREG – Live At 9 program. He has been the featured singing artist on the PBS film Underground Railroad – Quilt Code; for Georgia Public Broadcast. In conjunction with Opera Memphis’s Educational Outreach Program—Black Roots in Opera, Blanchard toured throughout Tennessee’s major metropolitan areas to help celebrate the Life & Artistry of Paul Robeson.
Blanchard’s operatic credits include affiliations with Opera Memphis and AmeriColor Opera Alliance Guild of Atlanta. He was presented with 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.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact 423.279.7669 or visit www.jonathanblanchard.com.