JAZZ at the MACC: The Music of Art Blakey
The Gulf Coast Jazz Collective is joined by trumpeter James Suggs and saxophonist Valerie Gillespie to play the music of Art Blakey.
Master drummer Art Blakey was one of the most prolific band leaders of his time, known for his powerful drum solos, and his creation of the Jazz Messengers. Blakey made a name for himself in the 1940s in the big bands of Fletcher Henderson and Billy Eckstine. He then worked with bebop musicians Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Dizzy Gillespie. In the mid-1950s, Horace Silver and Blakey formed the Jazz Messengers, a group that the drummer was associated with for the next 35 years. The group was formed as a collective of contemporaries, but over the years the band became known as an incubator for young talent, including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Johnny Griffin, Curtis Fuller, Chuck Mangione, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw, Terence Blanchard, and Wynton Marsalis.
Blakey’s shows were incredible Jazz events. Composers in the Jazz Messengers like Lee Morgan, Horace Silver and Cedar Walton, were know as early creators of the Hard Bop genre – the funkiest and bluesiest sub-genre of Jazz. As Blakey would say: “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.”
Gulf Coast Jazz Collective
Founded in 2021, the Gulf Coast Jazz Collective brings the best of live Jazz performance to Southwest Florida. Under the artistic direction of drummer, educator, composer & arranger Paul Gavin, the Jazz Collective invites the best artists from the country to collaborate in concerts that span the entire genre of Jazz.