Presented In Association w./Office of UM System President Mun Choi

CANCELED - The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration

The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration

Due to concerns for the safety of our patrons and the globetrotting musicians we bring to the Jazz Series, we have canceled next THURSDAY, MARCH 19, Art Blakey Centennial Celebration Concert at The Missouri Theatre. Given the special celebratory focus of this concert – and each players’ individual upcoming commitments – we are unable to schedule a make-up date. Instead, we will honor tickets to the March 19 concert at the April 23 Support for Jazz Education Performance featuring a reunion with Christian McBride & Benny Green at The First Baptist Church. Refunds will also be available, or you can donate the value of the tickets back to the Jazz Series. We're sorry for any inconvenience. Jazz Never Sleeps, but it does follow CDC guidelines. Thank you for your understanding – and your ongoing support. – The Jazz Series Team.

"THE ART OF BLAKEY" 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. The number of significant bandleaders-to-be that entered “The University of Blakey” in their late teens/early 20s and graduated anywhere from two to five years later, numbers close to 200. The Jazz Messengers roster spawned a litany of seminal players, among them: Donald Byrd, Terence Blanchard, Walter Davis Jr., Kenny Dorham, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Benny Green, Johnny Griffin, Donald Harrison, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, James Williams, Donald Brown, Mulgrew Miller, Geoffrey Keezer, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, Bobby Timmons, Cedar Walton, Peter Washington and Reggie Workman, to name but a few.
  Blakey (10/11/1919-10/16/1990) always encouraged band members to contribute material to his ensembles, naming many members “Musical Directors.” The 2019-2020, October-to-October, 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 a an all-star cooperative aggregate comprised of enormously talented musicians - including a quartet of former Jazz Messengers (dates "of service" noted parenthetically): Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (1977-1981), tenor saxophonist David Schnitter (1974-1979), trumpeter Brian Lynch (1988-1990) and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet (1989-1990. Joining them are pianist Eric Reed and drummer Carl Allen, the latter who has the great responsibility - and the unquestionable talent - to "channel" Blakey. This performance will unquestionably be one of the highlights of the 25th Anniversary Season-Long Celebration!

Audio and Video

Thursday, Mar 19, 2020

"Jazz in the District"

Missouri Theatre

Doors: 6 | Start: 7

The Art Blakey Centennial Celebration

Bobby Watson: Alto Saxophone
David Schnitter: Tenor Saxophone
Brian Lynch: Trumpet
Essiet Essiet: Bass
Eric Reed: Piano
Carl Allen: Drums

"If you feel like tapping your feet, tap your feet. If you feel like clapping your hands, clap your hands. And if you feel like taking off your shoes, take off your shoes. We are here to have a ball. So we want you to leave your worldly troubles outside and come in here and swing."           

- Art Blakey At the Jazz Corner of the World, Blue Note, 1959.


News & Press


All March and April Concerts Canceled

- Jazz Series News

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