Launched in 1996, the USF-based Monday Night Jazz series has treated local jazz fans to concerts by some of the top players in the genre, as with tonight’s season opener, “The Music of Art Blakey.” A centennial celebration of the legendary hard bop drummer (1919-1990), the concert features NY-based drummer Jason Tiemann and local luminaries who also happen to be on the USF music faculty: Jack Wilkins (saxophone), Tom Brantley (trombone), James Suggs (trumpet), Chris Rottmayer (piano), Mark Neuenschwander (bass), and LaRue Nickelson (guitar). The program will include classics from the vast repertoire of Blakey’s influential Jazz Messengers, whose alumni are a Who’s Who of jazz all-stars, plus selections from later groups as well.
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