Disney has announced they are collaborating with award-winning artists PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard on the music guests will hear as part of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Both natives of New Orleans, PJ and Terence will help score a lyrical love letter to the region that first inspired Disney’s endeavor with Princess Tiana. A new original song will be composed by PJ Morton and new renditions of fan favorite music from the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, “The Princess and the Frog.”
Both PJ and Terence are well-decorated across music genres with four-time Grammy-winner PJ recently celebrating six straight years of Grammy nominations as an independent artist and Terence having won seven Grammy awards for his own discography and trumpeting expertise. Terence also played all of Louis the Alligator’s trumpet parts in “The Princess and the Frog,” so you can only imagine how delighted Disney is that he returned to work on this project.
PJ Morton is writing, arranging and producing the original song for the attraction. He is performing on and producing the sessions in New Orleans of all-new arrangements of the song, as well as songs from “The Princess and the Frog” within the attraction. On the trip, we had the pleasure to discuss our collaboration with him at the historic Preservation Hall.
Terence Blanchard is helming music arrangements for the attraction’s queue. Terence is working with Disney to select songs from “The Princess and the Frog,” as well as iconic themes from New Orleans. Just like Tiana’s recipes, the music will combine a medley of instrumental ingredients to cook up something worth savoring.
Disney commissioned four pieces from New Orleans artist, Sharika Mahdi, to aid our creative process by adding a local’s perspective. On the trip, we visited Sharika to see her final commissioned piece for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in person. At her renowned alma mater YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Arts Center, Sharika walked us through this beautiful painting which serves as a compilation of Tiana’s story and emphasizes the importance of family, food and of course, music. This piece isn’t a particular moment or scene from the attraction, but rather an inspirational piece about the key theme of family in Tiana’s story.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Sharika paints with a colorful and free-flowing style. Sharika’s pieces for our project have featured Tiana and friends, a jazz club scene joined by a band of frogs and even Mama Odie and her “seeing eye snake,” Juju.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort next year.