Pain Relief Beyond Belief





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



The August Wilson Center for African American Culture and its resident big band, the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Members: 80
Latest Activity: Mar 13, 2018

Discussion Forum

Denzel Washington Says He Will Bring 10 August Wilson Plays to HBO

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Edie Antoinette Feb 13, 2018. 1 Reply

By Gilbert CruzSeptember 18, 2015 1:43 pm September 18, 2015 1:43 pmPhotoDenzel…Continue

Tags: hbo, plays, wilson, august, washington

I AM AUGUST - August Wilson Center Campaign - 2015

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison Sep 4, 2015. 0 Replies

Portrait-based art installation will feature…Continue

Tags: pittsburgh, jazz, network, culture, american

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison Feb 1, 2015. 0 Replies

FEBRUARY 22, 2014 4:35 PM ETfromLARKIN PAGE-JACOBSListen to the StoryAll Things…Continue

Tags: pittsburgh, culture, american, plays, vanessa

Judge expected to approve August Wilson sale deal

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison Oct 22, 2014. 0 Replies

Oct 20, 2014By The Associated PressBuildings in downtown Pittsburgh are reflected in the windows of the…Continue

Tags: pittsburgh, culture, new, courier, network

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of AUGUST WILSON CENTER to add comments!

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on November 10, 2014 at 3:51am

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on November 10, 2014 at 3:51am

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on November 10, 2014 at 3:50am

Comment by James Harber on June 12, 2012 at 10:21pm

Hi, how can I join the August Wilson Center.

Comment by Peace Love on December 1, 2010 at 3:45pm
August Wilson Center's 2010-2011 Season

Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra- Saturday December 11, 2010 @ 8PM

August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble- January 21, 2011 @ 8PM and January 23, 2011 @ 3PM

Juan and John – February 18-19, 2011 @ 8PM

Nora Chipaumire with Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited -March 8, 2011 @ 7PM

The Gospel at Colonus – March 24-26, 2011 @ 8PM, March 27 @ 3PM

Los Muñequitos de Matanzas – April 28, 2011 @ 8PM

Uprise: Raising Black Men - May 5-7, 2011 @ 8PM

The Foreign Exchange - May 20, 2011 @ 8PM (part of First Voice Festival)

Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion – May 21, 2011 @ 8PM (part of First Voice)
Comment by Ricco J.L.Martello on October 9, 2010 at 12:05am
check out the story I wrote on Roy Ayers and Tom Brown
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 9, 2010 at 1:49am
Black arts entities may see RAD cuts
Written by Debbie Vargus
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 09:55

The August Wilson Center for African American Culture is asking for $102,500 more in Allegheny County RAD funding than the $247,500 it received last year. And it is not alone among African-American arts organizations trying to stay afloat in difficult economic times.

Of the eight Black arts entities applying for annual grant funding, all requested increases, some as much as six times the amount they received for 2010.

ANDRE KIMO STONE GUESS is president and CEO, of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.

The AWC, which is working to pay down $8.5 million in construction overruns, requested the funding to help pay operating costs.

President and CEO Andre Kimo Stone Guess said the center hasn’t generated sufficient funds from its 480-seat theater. He said the focus will now be renting out its facilities, putting on jazz and dance festivals, and presentations of August Wilson’s plays, which may be filmed for distribution.

In addition to the AWC, other agencies applying for 2011 funding include:

•The Afro-American Music Institute, asking for $40,000 after receiving $22,500 this year;

•The Jazz Workshop, asking for $25,000 after receiving $4,500 this year;

•Kuntu Repertory Theatre, asking for $50,000 after receiving $25,000 this year:

•Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, asking for $250,000 after receiving $180,000 this year;

•The Kelly Strayhorn Theater, asking for $45,000 after receiving $15,750 this year;

•The New Horizon Theater, asking for $25,000 after receiving $13,500 this year, and

•The Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, asking for $9,900 after receiving $2,250.

Another agency, the Young Men and Women’s African Heritage Association, has applied for $50,000 in funding for its children’s steel pan, African dance and mural painting programs and adult quilting programs, though it received no funding in 2010.

NELSON HARRISON serves on the advisory board for the Afro-American Music Institute.

Nelson Harrison, who serves on the advisory board for the Afro-American Music Institute, said the RAD board should be throwing money at the institute.

“A lot of artists who achieved national and international acclaim went through AMI,” he said. “I realize everyone is going to ask for more money, but the quality of education the institute provides is second to none. It’s a blow, but they’ll survive one way or another.”

Annual grant requests for 2011 RAD funding total $8.387 million. Allocations for 2010 totaled only $5.216 million. Many cultural entities have seen their state funding dwindle during the recession, and as such have increased requests for RAD funds. The Heinz History Museum lost half of its state funding, going from $600,000 in 2009 to just over $300,000 this year.

Likewise, the Pittsburgh Symphony lost state funding and had to draw down $25 million in endowment funds this year. It has asked for an additional $300,000 in RAD funds, even though its RAD allocation was trimmed 12 percent from 2009.

The RAD board will hear its final round of requests Sept. 14 and will release a preliminary budget Oct. 1. It will then hold a public hearing in late October. The final vote is scheduled for Nov. 30.

ROBERT D. JONES is senior manager of external affairs for Dominion Peoples and chairs the RAD board.
Comment by Revalyn on September 4, 2010 at 3:39am
Yeah for the August Wilson Cultural Center. Culture is the strength of a people. Let's keep the music and the art and the poetry and the dance and the film and the fashion and the literature and the spirit....flowing!!!

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