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Ralph Peterson and the Messenger Legacy Announce First Tour Dates of 2020 and plans for a studio recording featuring new music

The All-Star ensemble will make stops in Frederick, MD; Roanoke, VA; Rye, NH

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Ralph Peterson and the Messenger Legacy are kicking off 2020 with three live performances. The group of jazz luminaries will make stops in Frederick, MD at the The Weinberg Center for the Arts on February 7; at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, VA on February 8 and on
February 27th at The Atlantic Grill in Rye, NH (the sister venue to a brand new club opening in 2021, Elle’s on Congress).

Ralph Peterson, the last drummer chosen to play with the Jazz Messengers by Art Blakey himself, has assembled the definitive group to keep the Jazz Messenger flame alive in the Messenger Legacy. For the first two dates, Peterson will be joined by saxophonists Bill Pierce Craig Handy, bassist Lonnie Plaxico, pianist Zaccai Curtis and, making his Messenger Legacy Debut on the Gaithersburg concert, revered trumpeter Sean Jones. On February 27th, the band will preview a brand new jazz venue in Portsmouth NH. Elle’s on Congress will open in 2021; the sister venue, The Atlantic Grill, will present the band as a sneak peak of what’s to come. Brian Lynch will fill out the trumpet spot, and Essiet Essiet will perform on bass. Full venue details on the dates are below. 

In May 2019, the Messenger Legacy released a highly acclaimed double disc entitled Legacy Alive: Vol. 6 at the Side Door. Legacy Alive… went on to receive stellar reviews from the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, WBGO, Downbeat Magazine, Jazzwise Magazine, and several others. The group headlined the Newport Jazz Festival this past year and is slated to perform in the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center this May. The album appeared on multiple Best Of 2019 lists and continues to generate positive attention worldwide. 

The legacy of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers is a living breathing tradition of hard swinging music carried on by the many players that have come through the ranks of what was arguably the greatest small group in the history of jazz. Ralph Peterson looks forward to continuing the tradition on a new record, slated to be recorded in March. On this new iteration, Peterson will be joined by a rotating ensemble of former Messengers including Craig Handy, Jean Toussaint, Kevin Eubanks, Joanne Brackeen, and several others. Like Blakey’s legacy, Peterson’s group will record new music in order to expand and extend the reach of the Messenger sound in today’s era and in doing so, solidifies his position as the true keeper of the flame. 

The Weinberg Center 20 W Patrick St, Frederick, MD 21701 February 7, 8pm Tickets/Info
Fostek Hall, Jefferson Hall 541 Luck Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24016 February 8, 7 & 9pm Tickets/Info
The Atlantic Grill 5 Pioneer Rd, Rye, NH 03870 February 27 Tickets/Info 

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