HE is a Grammy award-winning trumpeter and bandleader who has composed the music for every Spike Lee film since the 90s.

But despite all his accolades, what makes Terence Blanchard more proud is helping others succeed in the world of jazz.

The 54-year-old grew up in New Orleans where he was welcomed into the Louisiana city's proud music community since he was a child.

So he feels like he is passing on that spirit of collaboration and unity when he works with young musicians.

Terence is currently doing just that with The Inner City Ensemble, who he will be performing with at the Pyramid in Warrington on Friday.

The 13-piece band was put together from scratch with the aim of uniting some of the UK’s most remarkable emerging jazz artists.

"The calibre of the musicians is extraordinary," said Terence.

"It is folks from all over the area and it is the first time that they have played together but you couldn’t tell it.

"Even with everything that is going on in the world right now with everyone trying to divide us by race and sexuality the thing that I love about this group is that it is truly a mixture.

"We have a couple of guys who are classical musicians, we’ve got people from all walks of life but they are coming together to do something positive.

"A couple of folks are a little nervous about improvising but when I make them do it as an exercise they show great promise.

"We’ve been having a lot of fun but the main thing I want to do with these guys is open their minds to the possibilities of their creativity.

"I know young musicians can have a lot of anxiety about the direction they may be aiming towards and the struggle to get there.

"So one of the things I love talking about with them is easing their minds about their own musical tastes, talents and attitudes.

"The biggest piece of advice I could give is be yourself – it sounds simple but it’s not."

Music was part of everyday life for Terence in New Orleans.

He started playing piano when he was five, picked up a trumpet in his early teens and got his break when he started collaborating with the acclaimed bandleader Art Blakey. He was on music club stages by the time he was 17.

So what was it like growing up in that environment?

"Looking back on it, it was amazing and I was very fortunate," added Terence.

"But while you’re going through it you don’t think about it. When I was young I thought great trumpet players were everywhere.

"Every city has great teachers in one form or another and in New Orleans there were great musicians that I could hear and be inspired by.

"They were also great innovators – people who always wanted to buck the system and turn things on their head.

"I think music is the manifestation of what the soul is trying to say.

"When you look at what’s happened in New Orleans and the history of the South and the history of African Americans in America, there were a lot of things that people suffered through and needed to express.

"Music helped them find a way to express that and it grew into this thing that we call jazz. I’m talking way back before Louis Armstrong and Joe Oliver and all of those guys

"I’m talking about Congo Square where the freemen of colour used to come together and sing and dance. As a result of that blues and spiritual music was born and after that jazz.

"It’s an integral part of our culture because it’s allowed us to speak in a way that we can’t do with words."

Terence started working with Spike Lee in 1989 when he contributed to the soundtrack of Do The Right Thing.

By 1991 Spike decided that he wanted Terence to compose the scores for his films.

Terence said: "Spike is such a lover of melody. What I do is send him a number of musical themes and let him sit there and assign them.

"When he listens to them he’ll start to get an impression of a character."

It is not always that simple though as their experience on Inside Man proved when a 'love' song unexpectedly transformed into the heist film's theme.

Terence added: "He used that as the main theme to Inside Man which is a thriller so I had to scramble to try and figure out how to make what I thought was a love theme sound menacing."

But his most emotional project with Spike was When the Levees Broke, a documentary about the devastation of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

As well composing the score, Terence appeared in front of the camera with his mum whose home had been completely destroyed.

"It was like an out-of-body experience," he said.

"I was working on that during the day and when it became too heavy there was no place for me to go because I’d step outside right into the reality of what I was looking at on the screen all day.

"Then there was the whole thing with my mum and her home and to see her go through that was rough.

"At the same time I felt the documentary was necessary because I wanted people around the world to understand what had happened not only in New Orleans but in Texas and Mississippi.

"I was really upset with the people who were supposed to be public servants and the leader of the community who allowed the situation to deteriorate."

One of the things that kept Terence going was the way everyone put differences aside and pulled together to help.

Now he fears that is all being undone with Donald Trump's right wing and divisive campaign for the presidency.

He added: "Right after Hurricane Katrina we didn’t have red or blue states – everybody was unified, everybody was trying to help their fellow man.

"Now we’ve got a guy running for president who is using every buzz word, every dog whistle and every racial slur within the boundaries of decency that he can to try and divide and conquer.

"I never thought we’d be here. I thought after Jimmy Carter the race thing was a non-issue.

"So to see it come back with such fervour is frightening. It’s a sad commentary on human nature."

- Terence Blanchard and The Inner City Ensemble are at the Pyramid tomorrow, Friday. Visit pyramidparrhall.com for tickets