The Messenger Legacy is an elite lineup of former members of one of jazz’s most influential bands, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. This configuration features bassist Reggie Workman, alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Brian Lynch, tenor saxophonist Billy Pierce, pianist Donald Brown, and drummer Ralph Peterson.
This group of musicians wishes to preserve, protect, and honor the legacy of a man who was much more than a bandleader to all of them. This group has the potential of launching renewed appreciation for one of the most important institutions of apprenticeship in American music history.
About forming the group, Peterson said, “Every time I play the drums it is in tribute to Art, but I wanted to do something that goes beyond me, beyond any individual. I wanted to pay tribute in a way that was authentic, genuine, and meaningful not just to a few, but to every person he touched through his music.”
In an age when cover bands and tribute acts are commonplace and contrived, this band proves to be the exception. “Having multiple generations of Messengers represented in this band, this is the closest you can get to the source,” Peterson said through his raspy chuckle. "This is the real deal."