Event Category: Entertainment
The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration presented by the Northampton Jazz Festival.
Anyone who even vaguely follows and/or garnered appreciation for “Hard-Bop,” the soulful jazz sub-genre that in the mid-1950s followed on the heels of bebop, fully understands the historical significance of Drummer Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers. Blakey led the Jazz Messengers for 35 years, from 1955 to 1990, the year he died.
October, 2019 to October, 2020 serves as Blakey’s Centennial Year. Among those participating in the celebration is a multi-generational aggregation of former Jazz Messengers, each who, not surprisingly, has gone on to become major figures within the present-day jazz arena.
The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration includes an all-star cooperative aggregate comprised of enormously talented musicians – including a quintet of former Jazz Messengers (dates “of service” noted parenthetically): Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (1977-1981), tenor saxophonist Bill Pierce (1980-1982), trumpeter Brian Lynch (1988-1990), Robin Eubanks (1987-1988) and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet (1989-1990). Joining them are pianist Zaccai Curtis and drummer Carl Allen, the latter who has the great responsibility – and the unquestionable talent – to “channel” Blakey.
For more information about the ensemble and the musicians, visit: northamptonjazzfest.org
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