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


Funeral Arrangements for Chris Pangikas who passed

away Friday Jan. 5, 2018, are on

January 12, 2018 Viewing times

 2 P.M. to 4 P.M & 7 P.M. to 9 P.M.

January 13, 2018 Church service, I’m not sure of the time for this

or where as of yet but you could call the funeral home and they might know.

William F. Gross Funeral Home LTD
11735 Frankstown Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15235      (412) 242-6540




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We have lost a Pittsburgh Jazz Giant, pianist Chris Pangikas on January 5, 2018. He will never be forgotten. We made so much music together over the years. His time was cut short with heart and cancer health issues, but he stayed strong in spirit and definitely maintained his sense of humor through it all. Not sure I’ve ever met a man with such strong determination during his fight for life. I'm grateful for the time we had together as colleagues, but the most precious was the friendship. My life was enriched by the generosity of his creative artistry and helped me grow, as we both did through the music. Our duo gigs were followed by many and for good reason. We had an intimate relationship through our music with the audience and catered to a more jazz sophisticated musical ear.
Chris had music flowing through his fingers at all times. I could see the chords and changes in his mind. It’s a rare experience that seems to happen with musicians, a mixture of spirituality and creativity that happens within the music itself. If you are lucky enough to have that happen in your life, it’s like no other feeling. It’s love, it’s light, it’s everything. He not only was a great musician and could play in nearly every genre, he played other instruments as well besides piano. His studio work was impeccable and he had high standards in his recording techniques, always up to date with the latest musical equipment and had the knowledge to execute the hardest project at hand. I always marveled at his ability to do so many things at the same time on his computer as well as the piano. His original works, his compositions have never gotten the recognition that is so richly deserved. The instrumentals are a work of art and should have been a sound track for a movie. (He did the sound track music for the movie, “Night of the Living Dead” here in Pgh.)
He had his own band, “BREEZE”, which was a mainstay at Penn Center in Monroeville, PA for almost 10 years, every Saturday night in the summertime. Chris had impeccable taste in musical material and musicians and presented a weekly cast of some of Pittsburgh’s finest musicians and vocalists. He also had a long stint as a solo pianist in downtown Pittsburgh at The Omni Hotel, the old William Penn Hotel. He played on Andre Previn’s Steinway piano in the lobby for Sunday brunch. He was heard by visiting jazz artists that stayed there while they were here performing at various venues in the city, all of which made a point of talking with him during a break to compliment him on his playing.
There are some piano players who play just for the money and not for the love of the music. He played for the love of it and it showed. Chris accompanied so many soloists and vocalists during his life. He was in demand by many and I was one of the real lucky vocalists that worked with him at several clubs and restaurants in Pittsburgh for years. Steady gigs are always hard to come by at times, but we had some amazing ones. We also did a lot of recording, which was a fun and an exciting learning process for me. I, like many others, feel that he deserved more recognition and honors for all his accomplishments in the music field/business. Chris was unique, unpretentious, and generous to a fault in my estimation. He was also a computer programmer for the Pittsburgh based AMX Corp. since 1999 until he retired in 2012 and was a fulltime musician most of his life. He was a loving husband, father to 4 girls and grandfather to 8 grandchildren with another one on the way. He fought the good fight for nearly 5 years to the day he passed. His job on earth is done now but he left his love and music imprint on all the hearts that loved him. His music will live on throughout the universe.     

In Loving Memory of

Chris Pangikas

April 12, 1946

January 5, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3

there is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity

under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

A time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance...


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