Michael J. West, Alchemical Records
The great drummer Art Blakey was also the great teacher Art Blakey. The man dedicated his life to leading bands (the Jazz Messengers) that he staffed with young musicians that would receive tutelage from him, then go on to spearhead new generations of jazz greats. The list is vast, running from Jackie McLean to Ralph Peterson. That last is a special case: One of only two drummers whom Blakey took on as protégés. Peterson is one of the many who has paid their debt to him forward, becoming a respected educator alongside his career as a spectacular drummer. This time, though, Peterson pays direct tribute to Blakey, who would have been 100 years old in October. He leads an ensemble called the Messenger Legacy, stocked with veteran Jazz Messengers from several eras: saxophonists Bill Pierce (tenor) and Bobby Watson (alto), trumpeter Brian Lynch, pianist Geoffrey Keezer, and bassist Essiet Essiet. All of them are great, and together they are fire. Ralph Peterson & The Messenger Legacy perform at 7 and 9 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, 2700 F Street NW. $30-$40.