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NYJO Presents… BLAKEY! NYJO Plays The Messengers with Jean Toussaint

13th September 2021 @ 8:30 pm 10:30 pm

NYJO Presents… BLAKEY! NYJO Plays The Messengers with Jean Toussaint

NYJO Presents was built to showcase up and coming talent from across the UK jazz scene during the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This grassroots, bottom-up platform was there for plural creative voices to continue to express themselves at the start of their careers, despite of the restrictions in place.After an amazing run of livestreams featuring the likes of Helena Debono, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Roella Oloro, Karen Shiraishi and Asha Parkinson, NYJO Presents welcomed its first live audience for multi-instrumentalist, Emma Rawicz to coincide with the re-opening of Ronnie Scott’s. This latest series of NYJO Presents show will pair established, seasoned professionals with young stars of the future, to explore the work of world-renown jazz icon together.

As a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers Jean Toussaint represents a direct line to the core of jazz history. We are honoured to have him continue Blakey’s tradition and share his wisdom with a bespoke ensemble of emerging British talent.


Art Blakey was instrumental in reuniting the African roots of jazz with the innovations of bebop. Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the group he led for over 35 years, was the archetypal hard-bop ensemble of the late 1950’s. Originally formed as a collective of contemporaries, the band became known as an incubator for young talent, including Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Donald Byrd, Jackie McLean, Johnny Griffin, Curtis Fuller, Chuck Mangione, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Cedar Walton, Woody Shaw, Terence Blanchard, and Wynton Marsalis. 


Originally from St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, saxophonist Jean Toussaint left Berklee College of Music, Boston in 1982 to join Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. It was the beginning of an inspired four and half years spent with musicians including Terence Blanchard, Mulgner Miller and others. While in New York, Jean also worked with Gil Evans, McCoy Tyner and Wynton Marsalis. In 1987 he left Blakey to come to England for a few months. He stayed. Jean has since toured with many visiting American bands including Max Roach, Cedar Walton and David Murray as well as with his own bands. The Jean Toussaint Trio, Quartet and Quintet play swinging, surging straight-ahead contemporary jazz with a strong emphasis on melody. Nazaire, his electrocute band, plays a blend of jazz funk and club music.

The Band

JOEL KNEE, Trombone

0)20 7439 0747

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47 Frith St
London, London W1D 4HT United Kingdom
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020 7439 0747
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