Art Blakey

Art Blakey, born Arthur Blakey on October 11, 1919 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was an American jazz drummer and bandleader, best known for his more than 30 years with his band, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

Blakey, along with such drummers as Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. A powerful musician and a vital groover, Blakey's bluesy, funky hard bop drumming style continues to be a profound influence in mainstream jazz.

The Jazz Messengers, not only distinguished for an abounding catalog of exceptional music, was known for the inclusion of many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. Blakey's 'proving ground' covered several generations of jazz musicians — matched only, in this respect, to the groups of Miles Davis.

Art Blakey was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in 1982, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001, and awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Art Blakey died on October 16, 1990, at the age of 71.

From Dixieland to R&B, Rock, Funk or whatever they want to call it, the only thing that changed that music was the drummer.

 — Art Blakey