Art Blakey


Drummers should stop looking at other drummers’ equipment and say, I’m going to duplicate that.’ It doesn’t matter what kind of instrument the drummer has. It isn’t the instrument, it’s the musician

Art Blakey, Modern Drummer, October 1978

Arthur “Art” Blakey (October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990), known later as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, was an American Grammy Award-winning jazz drummer and bandleader. Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, Blakey was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was and continues to be influential on mainstream jazz. For more than 30 years his band Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers included young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz. Blakey’s legacy is thus not only the music produced, but also for his bands’ serving as proving ground for generations of jazz musicians—where observers suggest his impact is matched only by that of Miles Davis. Blakey was inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame (in 1982), the Grammy Hall of Fame (in 2001), and was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.