PITTSBURGH 3D




Roger Humphries


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.






Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin



       In Her Own Words



There is a dearth of oral history available documenting the greatness of the Pittsburgh Jazz Tradition and Legacy.. Please feel free to add a quote of your own or words of wisdom or humor from a Pittsburgh artist that you may find of interest.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Members: 78
Latest Activity: Feb 22

I don't need time. What I need is a deadline. -Duke Ellington, jazz pianist, composer, and conductor (1899-1974)

Discussion Forum

Kenny Clarke's Life and Sessions

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Dr. Nelson Harrison Jun 23, 2009. 7 Replies


Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison Jul 7, 2008. 0 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Karoly Domonyi on March 1, 2009 at 4:58am
Hi, just wanted to thank you for adding me as a friend at group.
Hope to gain and share some knowledge about marketing online!
Aries Network - Add URL - Free B2B - Dog&Cat - Art Gallery
Comment by Diva JC on November 23, 2008 at 5:50pm
Oral tradition has been at the core of the history of people of color, however, written history is where it's at. This group should make a huge difference in the future to the next generation. In the meantime, please request that your library purchase my book and CDs at this link:

Thanks, in advance, for your support.
Diva JC
Comment by Kevin Amos on August 29, 2008 at 11:34pm
How many of you remember Amir Rahied when he was on WYEP? You may recall that he always ended his morning show with a quote from Nelly Blair. I used to think that she was not a real person until I actually met her!
Amir would close out his show bn y saying..."In the words of Nellie Blair, keep your pretty ways."

When I finally met Ms. Blair and she was leaving the Name of the Game after seeing Al Hibbler she actually said that to me!

Nelly is no longer with us but I'll always remember that. Amair still say that when he ends a show,

"Keep your pretty ways", ok/


Comment by Paul Dang on July 11, 2008 at 4:11pm
Pittsburgh is a very interesting breeding ground for self creation. It is unique in its own right. I see it in its history, its heritage, and its people. Its rather unfortunate that the success of most "famed" artists only comes when they leave the city. Yet, its a beautiful thing when you can witness and appreciate these wonderful manifestations in its rare and untainted moment whether in it's infantile stages or the later stages of creation. I'm constantly amazed and inspired by this crazy city for which I was born and raised in, Still City.
Comment by Timothy R. Williams on July 8, 2008 at 11:41pm
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh actually has over 300 interviews in its Oral History of Music in Pittsburgh collection:

It's everything from educators and historians like Carl McVicker, Sr., Harry Clark and the Pgh Courier's Frank Clark to lots and lots of jazz performers such as: Jimmy Ponder, Nathan Davis, Joe Harris, Carl Arter, Flo Cassinelli, Danny Conn, Chuck Austin, Joe Negri, Bobby Boswell, and many more!
Comment by L. Malone on July 8, 2008 at 11:33pm
Thanks for the invite. Will pass this on.
Comment by LINDA ASSOCIATION SOUL JAZZ on July 8, 2008 at 11:10am
thank you!
Comment by Sparky Koerner on July 7, 2008 at 8:45pm

I am coming to vist family in PGH July 30 through Aug 5 and hope to catch some of the great Jazz that Pittsburgh has to offer.
Comment by ken kovach on July 7, 2008 at 7:50pm
Hey Nelson...Just put on a CD featuring Christian McBride and then I see he's comming to town with the Ray Brown Tribute Band. What a nice tribute to Ray and the Burgh. Great forum Nelson..thanks for the invite.
Comment by Bill Lawson on July 7, 2008 at 7:35pm
Thanks Nelson!

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