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Metro Theater Company’s ‘Bud, Not Buddy’ features score by Terence Blanchard

Henry Adebonojo
Terence Blanchard

Metro Theater Company’s next production, in partnership with Jazz St. Louis, is called “Bud, Not Buddy.” The play is based on a children’s novel that won a Newbery Medal for excellence in children’s literature.

It’s about a 10-year-old boy in Flint, Michigan, named Bud who, during the Great Depression, goes on an adventure to find his father.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked with Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard. Blanchard composed the score for the play and will appear at a concert to benefit Metro Theater Company.

Listen to the full discussion:

Blanchard said jazz is an integral part of the story. Bud’s search for his father, who is a jazz musician, leads him to find himself as well.

“[Jazz is] a perfect backdrop to the story, it adds a lot of great style and color,” Blanchard said. “[The play is] also set in a period of time when jazz was the main music of the culture.”

When he composed the music for the play, Blanchard said he intended to write it in a way that younger musicians would be able to perform in a high school production of the play.

“It’ll be great for young kids to play this music to get a sense of the period; and the collaborative process of bringing the music together with a theater production could be a really good experience for all of those kids involved,” he said.

Blanchard said he hopes that the production will inspire youth to create, chase their dreams and become more proactive in their life decisions.

Related Events:

What: Metro Theater Company Presents "An Evening of World Class Jazz"
When: Saturday, Feb. 3, at 8:00 p.m.
Where: Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis

What: Metro Theater Company Presents “Bud, Not Buddy” by Kirsten Greenidge
When: Feb. 4 - 25, 2018 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Where: Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.