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

Maurice Hines, a prominent figure in the Broadway scene, known for his skills as a dancer, choreographer, and actor, died on December 29, 2023, aged 80.

His death due to natural causes, took place in Englewood, New Jersey. His representative and cousin, Richard Nurse, announced the news to The Hollywood Reporter.

Born Maurice Robert Hines Jr. on December 13, 1943, in Harlem, New York, he was the son of Alma and Maurice Sr., a drummer and soda salesman. Hines and his younger brother Gregory, who was 26 months his junior, started their journey in the dance world at an early age, studying tap under Henry LeTang in Manhattan. The Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold, greatly influenced their aspirations and style.

The Hines brothers began their professional careers as children, performing as the Hines Kids. Their Broadway debut came in 1954 in “The Girl in Pink Tights,” choreographed by Agnes de Mille. The duo, initially known as the Hines Brothers, later became Hines, Hines & Dad with the inclusion of their father in 1963. They frequently performed at the Apollo Theater in New York City and gained fame for their performances in clubs across the United States and Europe, as well as on television shows like The Tonight Show.

Maurice Hines’ individual career also prospered. He received a Tony Award nomination in 1986 for Best Actor in a Musical for “Uptown … It’s Hot!” and returned to Broadway in 2006’s “Hot Feet.” He was the driving force behind these productions, serving as conceiver, director, and choreographer.

However, the relationship between Maurice and Gregory Hines was complex. They had a significant falling out, resulting in a decade-long period of no communication, the reasons for which Maurice remained silent. This rift was evident in their lives, even during their mother’s wedding when they did not interact. They reconciled before Gregory’s death from cancer in 2003 at age 57.

Aside from his Broadway achievements, Maurice Hines is remembered for his roles in films, notably with Gregory in “The Cotton Club” (1984), where their real-life sibling relationship was showcased in an improvised manner.

His contributions to the arts extended beyond performance. He co-directed and choreographed the national tour of Louis Armstrong’s biography “Satchmo.” He also directed, choreographed, and starred in a national tour of “Harlem Suite,” featuring various popular artists.

In 2013, Maurice honored Gregory with “Tappin’ Thru Life: An Evening With Maurice Hines,” a show that toured cities including Boston, New York, and Washington.

Hines’ legacy is defined by his contributions to dance and theater, his dynamic partnership with his brother, and his resilience in dealing with the complexities of personal and professional life. His death leaves a gap in the performing arts community, where he was respected for his talent, creativity, and passion for the arts.

Maurice Hines is survived by his nephew, Zach, and niece, Daria. His life, spanning over seven decades in show business, has been recognized by peers and admirers, including Debbie Allen, a notable actress-dancer-choreographer, who paid her respects in a heartfelt post.

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