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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.

 

Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?

 

Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.

 

For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.

 

Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.

 

WELCOME!

 

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            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Kenny Fisher Memorial

Event Details

Kenny Fisher Memorial

Time: June 24, 2010 from 5pm to 8pm
Location: Black Beauty Lounge
Event Type: memorial
Organized By: Dan Wasson
Latest Activity: Jun 28, 2010

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Event Description

Hey Everyone, Greetings. Wanted to let you know about the musical get together we're having in memory of Kenny Fisher. It's at the Black Beauty's Lounge on Centre Avenue (near the Granada Theater) on Thursday, June 24, 5-8 PM. The house band is guitar, bass, and drums. We'll also have a keyboard, microphone and amp. Bring your instrument and sit-in. Live jazz, poetry, fellowship. Hope to see you there.

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Comment by Dan Wasson on June 28, 2010 at 4:08pm
The musical get together in memory of Kenny Fisher at the Black Beauty's Lounge was a ton of fun! Carl Murphy, Ken Foley, and myself want to thank Ms. Bert and her family, Ron 'Silky' Humphreys, Spencer Bey, Nelson Harrison, Mark Strickland, Dave Pellow, Tony Campbell, Tubby Daniels, Roger Barbour, Walter Lowry, Calvin Stemly, Bunker Jones, Irwin (drums), Donny Williams, Frank McKown, John Stubbs, Richard Wilson, Felicia (vocals), Amir (poet), Christiane Leach, No. 88 Bluesman, the local artists, Roland Draft, Fred Pugh, Ralph Smith, Honorable Warren Watson, Wrenna Watson, Fred Logan, Namosha Smith, Harold Young, Mensah Wali, Billy Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. John Hughes, Kevin Amos, Hill Jordan, all the wonderful Black Beauty jazz lovers!
Comment by Dan Wasson on June 24, 2010 at 2:54pm
Ed, wish I could help. If you get there, we could probably get you back home. hope you can make it, thanks
Comment by Ed Skirtich on June 23, 2010 at 7:34am
Hi All,

Oops , I meant to say whoever may help me out, not however.

Thanks,

Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
ejskirtich@comcast.net
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
Comment by Ed Skirtich on June 23, 2010 at 7:30am
Hi All,

Thank you to all the folks that are putting this together.

As many of you know, I worked with Kenny Fisher at the Jazz Workshop, Inc. since I finished my school work at West Virginia University in 1993.

Kenny was such a beautiful and generous guy to me, and showed me ways to play jazz that no college course or book could ever show me.

Kenny always gave me a chance at playing jazz improv solos during all the jazz tunes that we did at Jazz Workshop, Inc.

I remember how much fun it was to jam with "Fish" at Jazz Workshop, Inc.

I would really love to come and play for this because I always digged and loved "Fish," and with being Artistic Director of Jazz Workshop, Inc., I would love to represent the Jazz Workshop, Inc. with playing my trumpet with all the guys and ladies who are performing at this.

The only problem is that my Mom's out of town and I would need a ride to the event.

I live in the Greenfield/Squirrel Hill area.

My name and address are the following:

Ed Skirtich
4284 McCaslin Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

Thank you for however may help me out with a ride and for putting this together for "Fish."

Musically,
Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc
ejskirtich@comcast.net
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
Comment by Christopher Dean Sullivan on June 23, 2010 at 5:41am
I want to be there, however I'm in NYC performing and preparing to go to Arlington Mass. for an engagement, this week . I will play a solo in memorium to a mentor and friend, to you Kenny Fisher. I trust this will be a Beatifically Spiritual Sounding and Vibrational Event, Which is so Exciting when held within the "Land of the Giant Killers".
I know Brotha' Kenny is Doing them In, you digg...peace
Comment by Brenda on June 23, 2010 at 12:37am
I am so sorry to miss this memorial. This is the last place I saw him when my own father died in 2006. We sat in the back at a table and he talked about old times. He was one beautiful dude. I would like to post a photo of him as I hope this memorial is a tremendous success. Much Love for Kenny,
Brenda

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