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Lincoln Center Celebrates Blakey

Art Blakey (pictured) had his own view about what jazz was for: “When people come in to relax and enjoy themselves after a hard day’s work, it’s my job to make them happy to wash away the dust of everyday life. That’s what jazz music is all about.” Recalling the spirit and hard-swinging music of the legendary drummer, Jazz at Lincoln Center will launch their 12th season, entitled “The Year of the Drum,” in September with three New York City events dedicated to Blakey.

The first event, “Jazz Talk: Tales of the Big Bu,” will take place Sept. 18 and will feature several of Blakey’s past musical companions sharing memories of the drummer. (“Bu” refers to the name Blakey adopted after a trip to Africa in the late ’40s: Abdullah Ibn Buhaina). Among the musicians on the panel are trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist James Williams, saxophonists Bobby Watson and Bill Pierce, bassist Charles Fambrough, trombonist Curtis Fuller, and trumpeter Valery Ponomarev, all of who are Jazz Messengers alumni. The event will take place at the Stanley H. Kaplan Playhouse, in the Rose Building at 165 West 65th St., 10th floor Tickets are $20.

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