Walter Blanding Jr. (tenor and soprano saxophones and clarinet) returns to Plymouth State University with his ensemble at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 10 for a concert at the Silver Center for the Arts. Blanding played saxophone for a sold-out concert with Wynton Marsalis October 27 at Silver.
Blanding was born into a musical family and began playing the saxophone at age 6. In 1981 he moved with his family to New York City and by 16, he was performing regularly with his parents at the Village Gate.
Blanding attended LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts and continued his studies at the New School for Social Research. He lived in Israel for four years, where he had a major impact on the music scene, importing great artists such as Louis Hayes and Eric Reed. He also taught in several Israeli schools and toured the country with his ensemble which inspired Newsweek magazine to describe him as “Jazz’s Ambassador to Israel.”
His first album, Tough Young Tenors, was acclaimed as one of the best jazz albums of 1991. Since then he has performed or recorded with many artists, including Cab Calloway, Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Illinois Jacquet, Eric Reed and Roy Hargrove.
His latest release, The Olive Tree, features fellow members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.
Tickets for the concert are $15-$8 at the Silver Center box office, (603) 535-ARTS or online at