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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.






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Kente Arts presents the Louis Hayes Quintet featuring Pitsburgh native son, Steve Nelson on vibraharp

Event Details

Kente Arts presents the Louis Hayes Quintet featuring Pitsburgh native son, Steve Nelson on vibraharp

Time: December 9, 2017 from 8pm to 10pm
Location: New Hazlett theater
Street: 6 Allegheny Sq,Phone:
City/Town: Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Website or Map:
Phone: (412) 320-4610
Event Type: live, jazz, concert
Organized By: Kente Arts
Latest Activity: Dec 12, 2017

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Event Description

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Comment by Bob Garvin on December 12, 2017 at 6:25pm

Yes, yes. It sure was. Many thanks, Nelson, for bringing it back to me.  I had no idea that he had gone on to such prominence, which I just learned about by "Googling" his name. It mentions something about him having appeared with the Pittsburgh Symphony. I suppose that Harry Cardillo has followed Rolando's career. I saw them at the Balcony and elsewhere way back when.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on December 11, 2017 at 9:27pm

Was it Rolando Morales?

Comment by Bob Garvin on December 11, 2017 at 5:51pm

I'll ask my son Mark, a musician living in Manhattan, if he has heard Steve Nelson in his visits to NYC jazz clubs.. Speaking of vibeists, does anyone know what became of a young vibes player who was in Harry Cardillo's band? I thought he had a lot of talent, but lost track and can't remember his name.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on December 10, 2017 at 7:27pm

Steve's mother Charlotte passed away a few years ago.  She was part-owner of the Crazy Quilt that was next door to Walt Harper's Attic.  A wonderful lady and good friend.  There were 40 family members at the concert last night.  Steve is currently the best vibe player on the planet I believe.  At 80 years of age Louis Hayes was in amazing form. He invited Roger Humphries to sit in and play one number which was the Miles Davis-Eddie Vinson's  "Tune-Up." Louis did a talk-back  to the audience afterwards.  It took me right back to the Crawford Grill in the 50s-60s.  Thad Mosely was there. He is now 91.

Comment by Bob Garvin on December 10, 2017 at 7:12pm

Steve Nelson's mother is (was?) a lovely woman that I became friends with while living in Pittsburgh. She had owned a jazz place on Market Square. She spoke of Steve and was very proud of him. When Joe Williams appeared at Walt Harper's, she brought him over between sets  to meet my  lady friend and me. I'm sorry that I've never heard Steve in person.

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