Monday, February 09, 2015

How should Shreveport celebrate the Grammy-winning artistry of drummer-composer Brian Blade?

Corea and Blade

Over the years Brian Blade's song titles have included steady shouts to Shreveport: "Red River Revel," "Stoner Hill," "Ark.La.Tex" and, in concert, "Kings Highway." In interviews as well as song titles - for the Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band - the drummer-composer never forgets the home town.

In the recent awarding of the Grammies, Blade and Fellowship were nominated in Best Jazz Instrumental. Alas, the win was taken by the Chick Corea Trio. But Blade was well recognized. As drummer for the Chick Corea Trio, he shared Grammy wins in Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Jazz Solo.

Those Grammies can remind young creative types growing up in North Louisiana that the sky is the limit in expressing their talent. Blade has grown up as a musician at Zion Baptist Church. He performed at Caddo Magnet HS and made serious connections when he lived in New Orleans and attended Loyola University.

So how does Shreveport properly say Congrats to the humble Blade? A downtown parade comes to mind. Yet I like even better a Blade-themed variety show. Wouldn't it be cool if local bands and singers learned some of Blade's songs - the melodies are distinct and elegant - and were able to perform them at a Spring fest or at a special gathering?

Here's hoping that the musical and civic leaders will share ideas and see whether Shreveport can offer an artful, fun-filled tribute to Blade.

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