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

Dedicated jazz fan and supporter Leonard Granville Mack 1927 - 2021 will be missed

Leonard Granville Mack
1927 - 2021
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Leonard Granville "Red" Mack, 93, of Washington, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 13, 2021.

He was born August 12, 1927 in Washington, the son of the late Robert G. and Nellie M. Thomas Mack.

Mr. Mack was a 1945 graduate of Washington High School, and was a member of the St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Washington. He was employed at Jessop Steel for 40 years as a "Roll Turner" up until his retirement. Mr. Mack was the first African American noted in the trade of "Roll Turner". He was also the first African American clothes salesman on Main Street in Washington, being employed at one time at Sol Mintz. Mr. Mack was also the first African American Lector/Commentator at Immaculate Conception Church in Washington. He enjoyed listening to Jazz music and at one time was the Vice President of the Washington Jazz Society. Mr. Mack was very proud of being the youngest member of the 50 member organization, "Top Hatters", and served as President for 10 years. He was a devout crossword puzzle worker, enjoyed walking, and was an avid Steeler fan. Mr. Mack also enjoyed traveling. He will be dearly missed by all that knew and loved him.

On November 30, 1957 he married Agnes L. Norvell who passed away on November 18, 1991. Surviving are two daughters, Stacey L. (Ted) Vactor of Md., and Lenane Mack of Washington; three grandchildren, Tori Vactor, Aaron (Camille) Vactor, and Ericka (Farah) Hashi; six great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to his parents and wife, Mr. Mack was preceded in death by a brother, Robert G. Mack III.

All funeral arrangements are private and under the direction of the Warco-Falvo Funeral Home, Inc., Wilson at East Katherine Ave., Washington, S. Timothy Warco, Supervisor/Director, Susan Falvo Warco, Director, S. Timothy Warco II, Director. Memorial contributions may be made to the St. Paul A.M.E. Church, 16 Ridge Ave., Washington PA 15301. Condolences may be expressed at

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Leonard Mack & Michele Bensen @ Cardillo's Club Cafe in the early 90's

RIP old friend. You always were a real Jazz supporter!!


Leonard Mack was a great jazz lover and supporter. He always had a friendly smile for everyone and a good friend to so many jazz musicians in Pittsburgh. He was a real gentleman and was looked to with respect. I'm grateful for the time we all had with him in our lives. He loved his family so much. Thank you Mack for being you!

Michele Bensen


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