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

Obituary: Edward Waters Meeks Jr

Edward Waters Meeks Jr of Pittsburgh PA died unexpectedly on Sunday, February 7, 2021.

Being the first child born in Philadelphia PA on January 1st, 1951 and the first child and only son of his parents, Edward Waters Meeks, Sr. and Nannie P. Meeks, Ed or “Meekie” as he was lovingly known to family and close friends, thus began his life that came to be characterized by a “straight-talking” independent spirit; a commitment to serving and improving his community, and loyalty to the people and organizations that he loved.

Ed was raised in Philadelphia and Penllyn PA; he was known for his football skills at Wissahickon HS (Ambler) and went on to play football and graduate from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Erie with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He continued his education at the University of Pittsburgh, receiving a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning.

As an associate to many Pittsburgh leaders of the era of business and community development in the 1970’s and beyond, he worked with organizations such as the United Black Front and later the Office of Urban and Community Services of the University of Pittsburgh to shape the urban landscape of the Hill District and Greater Pittsburgh.

His special interest as Co-Founder and Executive Director of Renaissance III was in placing under-represented people in the building trades by developing and providing a successful pre-apprentice training program.

At heart, Ed was truly an entrepreneur who, along with family, owned Meeks I & II, Inc., and the Market Square Beauty Gallerie and Mystique Beauty Salon in Pittsburgh.

At his passing, he was a substitute teacher for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

In addition, he was a life-long member of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi. Inc.

Ed leaves to cherish his memory a daughter and a granddaughter, Amanda Brown Meeks and Wisdom Sarai Davis in Atlanta GA; and sisters Dr. Karen Meeks (Bluffton, S.C.) and Dr. Valli Meeks (Baltimore, MD). He is also remembered by his beloved fraternity brothers of Omega Psi Phi, Inc., and a host of relatives and friends.

His memorial service is private.

Professional services are entrusted to Ciavarelli Family Funeral Homes, Ambler PA.

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