Pittsburgh's Art Blakey playing drums with the Billy Eckstine Band, circa 1945.
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Art Blakey playing drums, with Leo Parker, John Jackson, and Sonny Stitt playing saxophones, in the Billy Eckstine Band.

Credit: Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Gift of the Esate of Charles "Teenie" Harris

After emerging as one of the great hard bop drummers in the 1940s, Pittsburgh's Art Blakey (1919-1990) led the celebrated Jazz Messengers for more than 30 years. Blakey recorded dozens of albums both as a sideman and with his Jazz Messengers, which was a training ground for young musicians, including Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter, and Wynton Marsalis. "I'm going to stay with the youngsters," Blakey once said. "When these get too old I'll get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active."

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