At 6:30 p.m. Catherine “Catt” Gallop will open the concert for Blanchard.
Blanchard is a classically trained bass vocalist who is unmatched for his artistry and musical interpretation. Audiences throughout the Southeast have discovered he is a quick-change vocal artist who moves through spirituals to soul, rhythm and blues to jazz with ease.
Born in November 1976, Blanchard’s talent came to maturity while immersed in Memphis’s often raucous, inspirational and yet always-divergent style of music and art.
He possesses a voice comparable in depth and richness to the great Paul Robeson and creates music that allows his deep, soulfully rich voice to blend naturally with his compelling dramatic instinct. His modernized and approachable style of singing captivates enthusiasts of popular, classical and religious songs.
Blanchard’s artistic tastes were forged first 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.
He went on to pursue a bachelor’s degree in commercial music and a master’s degree in music education from Tennessee State University. It was there he learned his magnetic 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 Potiphar in “Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Caesar in “Scipio,” the ex-slave in “Do Lord Remember Me,” and the Lion in “The Wiz.”
Drawn also to film, he has appeared as an extra in several movie blockbusters, done voiceover work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis’s “WREG—Live At 9” program. He has been the featured singing artist on the PBS film “Underground Railroad—Quilt Code” and for Georgia Public Broadcast.
Blanchard also has presented concerts, master classes and demonstrations for grade school, high school and college students. 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 played 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.
Other performances with Americolor Opera Alliance Guild include “Madame C.J. Walker,” “Three Kings and a Prince,” “The Herndons,” “The Great Divide” and “The Candlers of Callan.” Blanchard toured North Dakota as York in “Corp of Discovery,” an opera about the Lewis and Clark expedition written by Michael Ching, artistic director at Opera Memphis.
Blanchard also performed a concert at the 2010 National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. CD credits include “And the Spirit Moved” and “Freedom’s Soul.”
“Soulful meets harmony” best describes “Catt” Her acoustic sound breathes life into genuine feel-good music.
Gallop, a Virginia Beach native has one mission: to “revive the soul” through her music. A lover of artistic expression, she is inspired by Eryka Badu, Amel Larrieux, Minnie Riperton and Skye Edwards of Morcheeba.
Catt Gallup initially considered her abilities as “hobbies” rather than part of her purpose. While working at a summer camp during college and seeking a way to touch the lives of the young people, in an hour she wrote her first song, “Fearfully and Wonderfully,” and performed it in front of a crowd of 400.
This turning point forged in her a belief that “when you follow your heart, do what you are called to do and trust in God, you will find your way.”
She moved to Nashville and performed with Nicole C. Mullen as a backup singer and dancer. Catt has gone on to work with other Christian artists such as GRITS, Verbs, Pettidee and Out of Eden. She has also shared the stage with such musicians as Algebra, Daysahead, Jaspects and PJ Morton.
Her latest projects, including “Embrace It,” “Runnin Away” and “Saturday,” each represent her creativity and passion for real artistry. With a beautiful tone, urban fly girl style, Catt’s music is sure to inspire with a listenable quality that both draws in and captivates. She released an independent album titled “Just Dreamin.”
“This concert promises to be an evening of incredible music,” Kyle Elrod, event organizer, said. “Few venues offer artists of this caliber free to the community. We hope music lovers from the region will join us in Johnston Park for a night of special musical artistry.”
Sponsoring the second Evening Shade concert is Logan-Thompson PC.
The free, family-friendly concert series is made possible each year by the Allied Arts Council (AAC) of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. It is funded in part by local sponsors and under an agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission.