Since returning to his hometown to direct the jazz studies program at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, Bobby Watson has played a key role in developing the young talent dominating KC jazz today. But Watson is better known internationally for his own extraordinary talent on the alto sax. Last year, he again made DownBeat's poll of greatest living jazz saxophonists. He first made a name for himself with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, moving on from there to form Horizon. With trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Curtis Lundy or Essiet Essiet, and drummer Victor Lewis, Horizon is modern jazz composed and tightly performed by recognized modern jazz masters. In 2014, Bobby Watson & Horizon mark 30 years together. Friday night, they celebrate at the Blue Room.