Art Blakey

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Blakey, (Arthur) Art

(1919–90) jazz musician; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. An influential drummer, he performed with Billy Eckstine's big band between 1944–47 and freelanced on numerous recordings. From 1954 until his death, he led the Jazz Messengers, a combo he consistently renewed with outstanding young players. He was a proselytizer for jazz and a leading exponent of "hard bop," an explosive style characterized by a strong backbeat and bluesy lyricism.