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During his career which spanned more than 6 decades, Art Blakey’s band, The Jazz Messengers has been described as the true university, the post-graduate college of jazz, for if Blakey ever began repeating himself, he would shuffle the musicians in his band around, replacing experienced players with highly talented novices. It was a strategy that kept him young while everyone else grew old. The drummer known as the Jazz Tiger for his attacking style was also the great vampire of jazz, constantly in search of “fresh blood”. For this reason, The Jazz Messengers also became known as the Blakey School of Music. They were an influential jazz combo that existed for over thirty-five years beginning in the early 1950s as a collective, and ending when long-time leader and founding drummer Art Blakey died in 1990.