RCS Presents: The Magic of Art Blakey, Directed by Peter Johnstone

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directed by PETE JOHNSTONE

As today’s musical director, Pete Johnstone, says: “Art Blakey is one of the most important voices in the evolution of jazz.”

From the late 1940s, when he recorded for legendary jazz label Blue Note Records with Art Blakey’s Messengers, Blakey shared his unshakeable message that jazz should swing hard and espouse the feelings of blues and gospel music.

Originally a pianist, Blakey began playing drums in his teens and worked with singer Billy Eckstein and pianist Thelonious Monk, among others, before co-founding the Jazz Messengers with pianist Horace Silver in 1954.

Although Silver soon moved on, the Jazz Messengers blueprint had been created and Blakey’s band became an academy for innumerable talents who went on to make their mark.

As trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and trombonist Curtis Fuller, all composers whose music you’ll hear today, left to pursue their own careers, Blakey found young talents including Wynton and Branford Marsalis to replace them and maintain the band’s momentum.

Into his last years Blakey was still spotting talent and in keeping with this legacy, today’s band includes trombonist Anoushka Nanguy, Rising Star winner at the recent Scottish Jazz Awards, and saxophonist Matthew Carmichael, who releases his first album in early 2021.

Loic Guenneguez – Trumpet
Sean Megaw – Alto
Matthew Carmichael – Tenor
Anoushka Nanguy – Trombone
James Mackay – Guitar
Liam Robertson – Piano
Ewan Hastie – Double Bass
Chun-Wei Kang – Drums

Thermo – Freddie Hubbard
Down Under – Freddie Hubbard
Arabia – Curtis Fuller
Sweet and Sour – Wayne Shorter
This is for Albert – Wayne Shorter
Free For All – Wayne Shorter

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