Arlington Jazz presents an evening of classic jazz featuring the music of Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, one of the all-time signature groups that rose up and out of the bop era of the 1940s.
The Jazz Messengers was a collective of jazz musicians that was formed in the 1950s and existed in various permutations for over thirty-five years, up until 1990, which coincided with the passing of the group’s founder and long-time leader, drummer Art Blakey.
Metro Boston is fortunate enough to have two alums of The Jazz Messengers who consider this area their home base. The Jazz Messengers went through various phases during its long history. Both local “messengers”, Bill Pierce (sax) and John Ramsay (drums), were involved during parts of the celebrated “Messengers Rejuvenation” period, which encompassed the years 1976–90.
Back in the day, Art Blakey offered the following advice to his audience, which shall certainly hold true for all those attending Arlington Jazz’s upcoming tribute to his legacy:
“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.”
For the “A Tribute to Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers” concert, Pierce and Ramsay, will be accompanied by Greg Hopkins (trumpet), Dan Fox (trombone), Consuelo Candelaria (piano), and Greg Ryan (bass). Arlington High School Jazz Band, led by Tino D’Agostino, opens.