“The emotional climax of Terence Blanchard’s SummerStage concert on Friday night, at Clove Lakes Park on Staten Island, arrived precisely one hour in, like a timed detonation. It was the title track of his most recent album, “Breathless” — an elegy for Eric Garner, who died at the hands of police officers on Staten Island just over two years ago. Mr. Blanchard, in his trumpet solo over the plaintive theme, struck a careful tonal balance, sounding haunted but unflinching.
Mr. Garner’s last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry soon after his death, which was caught on video and viewed by millions. The phrase served a blunt, potent role at protests and on social media, bolstering the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. It has been printed on T-shirts, signs and buttons, like the one worn on Friday by Mr. Garner’s 2-year-old daughter, Legacy, as she distractedly took in Mr. Blanchard’s performance near the foot of the stage.“