Terence Blanchard and Teresita Fernández to Be Honored at Backyard Ball

Tuesday Nov 5th, 2019


Blog > Terence Blanchard and Teresita Fernández to Be Honored at Backyard Ball



YoungArts Board Chair Sarah Arison announced today that jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (1980 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) and conceptual artist Teresita Fernández will be honored with Arison Awards at the organization’s annual Backyard Ball, presented by fine jeweler Harry Winston, on Saturday, January 11, 2020, in Miami. The evening will celebrate Blanchard’s and Fernández’s vital contributions to the arts alongside the achievements of the 2020 YoungArts award winners, the nation’s most accomplished young artists in the literary, visual and performing arts.

The event culminates National YoungArts Week, the organization’s signature program providing more than 150 of the nation’s most accomplished young artists with an all-expenses-paid weeklong intensive program in Miami connecting them with leading professionals in their fields through master classes and workshops, and introducing them to the public through performances and an exhibition.
“YoungArts is thrilled to shine a light on Terence Blanchard and Teresita Fernández—two of the most compelling and relevant artists of our time. We are inspired by their accomplishments and by their dedication to encouraging the next generation of artists to share their voices with the world,” said Sarah Arison. “I look forward to honoring their contributions to the arts at the Backyard Ball.”

Widely recognized as a trailblazer in the world of jazz, Terence Blanchard is most known for his compositions and recordings, but he is also an important music educator. Blanchard has won six Grammy Awards, released 20 solo albums and composed more than 50 film scores. In 2018, he received an Academy Award nomination for his composition for the Academy Award-winning film BlacKkKlansman. Blanchard was recently named the Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and has received a number of prestigious awards including the 2019 BMI Icon Award and the USA Fellowship in 2018.

“Like many children, shyness dampened my self-esteem, but one of the fortunes of growing up in New Orleans was that music could be your lifesaver.  Despite your neighborhood, your income level, or what you thought of yourself, there were always music and teachers to mentor you,” says Blanchard. “But, it wasn’t until I became a YoungArts winner, that I finally saw how high I could soar in my craft.  Thanks to those opportunities provided by YoungArts, I have been able to see the world and grow as an artist.”

Teresita Fernández’s work is characterized by an interest in perception and the psychology of looking. Her experiential, monumental works are often inspired by a rethinking of landscape and place, as well as by diverse historical and cultural references.  She is a 2005 MacArthur Foundation Fellow and the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Artist's Grant, and a Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award. Fernández’s works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her mid-career museum retrospective, Teresita Fernández: Elemental, is currently on view at Pérez Art Museum Miami and will tour throughout the United States.  

Says Fernández, “I’m honored to be recognized by YoungArts and to be aligned with their focus to create career-spanning support for young artists who are courageously using art and culture as powerful tools to shape their future.”

Arison Awards, designed by Jean Shin (1990 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), are given annually to individuals who, like the Arison family, have had a significant influence on the development of young American artists. Fernández and Blanchard will accept their awards at YoungArts’ largest annual fundraiser. The 2020 Backyard Ball will bring together artists, influential community leaders and philanthropists for an evening of artistry, dining and dancing. The event is hosted by honorary chairs Sandra and Tony Tamer and co-chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Wilhelm, Jay Franke and David Herro, and Oxana and Steven Marks.

A highlight of the Backyard Ball will be a multidisciplinary performance created by director and choreographer John Heginbotham in collaboration with musical director Jake Goldbas (2007 YoungArts Winner in Jazz) featuring Alaman Diadhiou (2016 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Mercedes Ferreira-Dias (2019 YoungArts Winner in Voice & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Michelle May (2014 YoungArts Winner in Dance), Julius Rodriguez (2014 YoungArts Winner in Jazz) and Devon Yesberger (2010 YoungArts Winner in Jazz).

The Backyard Ball performance and gala is presented by Harry Winston, Inc. Support for the gala is provided by EventStar Structures, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc., Miami Herald, Miami Magazine and Power Collective.

For more information or to purchase tickets or tables, click here.