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

Memorial service for John Hughes - Beloved pianist and Member of Local 471 AF of M


On November 22, 2018. Beloved husband of Helena Gerard Hughes; father of Charles S., Kenneth M. and Pamela A. Hughes; son of the late John W. and Hattie Horton Hughes; brother of the late Tom Horton and Cora Hughes; grandfather of Lauren Kenni Marie; brother-in-law of Claudette and Ray Richardson; uncle of Todd Richardson and Sylvester Hughes. An accomplished musician whose love of music and residency at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association was only surpassed by his love of his wife of 60 years, Helena. John composed and performed the hit song "Rambunctious" which he played regularly with the Harold Betters Quartet at the legendary Crawford Grill, Encore, and the Gaslight Club. He will be tickling the ivories with the jazz greats that he played with when began his music career at 16 years old. Upon graduation with a degree in music from Duquesne University, he furthered his education and retired as a mediator from the Justice Department. A memorial service will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 in Allegheny Cemetery Temple of Memories at 1 p.m. Arrangements by JOHN A. FREYVOGEL SONS, INC. (

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Nov. 25 to Nov. 28, 2018
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RIP. Prayers for family.

After Pitt football games, I'd go to the Encore in Shadyside to hear Harold Betters in a packed house. John Hughes was with him the. In the Eighties, he was playing with Jerry in his Crescendo Lounge, that unforgettable slightly seedy jazz club where I spent many evenings.Billy Eckstine dropped in when he visited the 'Burgh and I once sat at the bar, conversing with Al Hibbler. I remember John Hughes as being very pleasant and playing solid, if not flashy piano along with Danny on trombone, Bobby on bass, and of course Jerry doing the drums and vocals.                                                                                                                                                                                                   I wish that I could relive those days one more time. I marveled at how Jerry sometimes introduced the band even when George or Harold Betters were in the audience: " And on bass, this is Bobby----the brother I never had." 


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