AboutSoul Singer, songwriter actor and preserver of the Negro Spiritual, Jonathan Blanchard has successfully released his first studio album entitled “Freedom’s Soul…..the REVOLUTION”. Freedom’s Soul was recorded with live musicians in Memphis, TN and Atlanta, GA.
Brought forth from the historical roots of Memphis, Freedom’s Soul, is easily one of today’s most dynamic and powerful musical works. A culmination of musical genres, steeped in soul music and lessons learned. With an inspiring message and originality, Freedom’s Soul “takes you there”, with every song. There is truth, pureness and clarity in the message, and simple genius within the compositions. This album is a fusion of Soul, Funk, Jazz, Spirituals, and R&B. “As a creative spirit, your creations will either manifest freedom or bondage in the souls of those who bare witness”. Blanchard would describe his lyrical content as simply being “Honest”. The genius is in the commonality and practicality of how he expresses his views on an array of subject matter. Blanchard is heavily influenced by Memphis Artist who preceded him such as EWF, The Bar-Kays, Isaac Hayes, and WC Handy…who also maintained a since of being current and relevant.
Break Bread Together (available on iTunes) is the first single to be released from Freedom’s Soul. Blanchard brings a certain gentle new approach to an old standard. The contrasting background vocals are smooth and rich, reminiscent of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”.
Blanchard recently took to the stage in 2013 as the SCLF honored Civil Rights icon, and trailblazing entertainer Harry Belafonte. Blanchard with live band performed several of Belafonte many hits. In 2012 Blanchard honored gospel great, Lucy E. Campbell when he performed at the 2013 Memphis Music Hall of Fame Induction, where he opened for ZZ Top, Saxophonist George Coleman and the late Bobby “Blue” Bland.
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 kenneled the creative fire in the spirit of the Soul Crooner. Blanchard’s talent came to maturity while immersed in Memphis’s often raucous, inspirational, yet always divergent styles of music and art. HIS VOICE: Possessing a voice comparable in depth and richness to the great Isaac Hayes, Paul Robeson, and Barry White. Blanchard – in the tradition of great soul singers, creates music that allows his deep, soulfully rich voice to blend naturally with the times. He movingly conveys poignant words and melodies to evoke feelings of love respect, hard times, and revolt. No one should miss him deftly rifting through Jazz licks, while he masterfully imitates the sounds emanating from a Jazz Band’s instrumental section. His throwback, soul stirring style of singing creates such a strong vibe that is undeniable.
Blanchard’s artistic tastes were first forged in grade school. However, by the time he entered East High School his artistic curiosity had led him to sing in various chorus, and to act in a number of 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 its magnetic style of delivery. His artistry transcends Jazz Bistro & Concert Hall venues, and 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”, and The Lion in “The Wiz”, he’s done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis’ WREG – Live At 9 program, and most recently been the featured singing artist on the PBS film “Underground Railroad – Quilt Code”; for Georgia Public Broadcast. Blanchard has also presented concerts, master classes, and demonstrations where his musical insights have captivated the imaginations of grade school, high school, and college students alike. 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. Come and enjoy.