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



The African American Jazz Caucus, Inc., is dedicated to protecting, preserving and sustaining the rich cultural heritage of jazz as an indigenous musical art form. 

Location: New York City
Members: 61
Latest Activity: Mar 24, 2018


Jazz is an art form which has its origins, spiritual, heritage and cultural roots in Africa, African American communities and the African Diaspora. The African American Jazz Caucus, Inc. (AAJC), is proactively working to maintain the aesthetic integrity, heritage, legacy and historical facts germane to the music emphasizing "The Roots that have produced the Fruits" . We are engaged in creating programs and providing services to further jazz education and jazz audiences. The Caucus invites and encourages proactive members to share their expertise in our networking with national and international communities. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Opening speech at the 1964 Berlin Jazz Festival 

"Humanity and the Importance of Jazz"

"God has wrought many things out of oppression. He has endowed his creatures with the capacity to create - and from this capacity has flowed the sweet songs of sorrow and joy that have allowed man to cope with his environment and many different situations. 

Jazz speaks for life. The Blues tell the story of life's difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music. 

Modern Jazz has continued in this tradition, singing the songs of a more complicated urban existence. When life itself offers no order and meaning, the musician creates an order and meaning from the sounds of the earth which flow through his instrument. 

It is no wonder that so much of the search for identity among American Negroes was championed by Jazz musicians. Long before the modern essayists and scholars wrote of "racial identity" as a problem for a multi-racial world, musicians were returning to their roots to affirm that which was stirring within their souls. 

Much of the power of our Freedom Movement in the United States has come from this music. It has strengthened us with its sweet rhythms when courage began to fail. It has calmed us with its rich harmonies when spirits were down. 

And now, Jazz is exported to the world. For in the particular struggle of the Negro in America there is something akin to the universal struggle of modern man. Everybody has the Blues. Everybody longs for meaning. Everybody needs to love and be loved. Everybody needs to clap hands and be happy. Everybody longs for faith. In music, especially this broad category called Jazz, there is a stepping stone towards all of these." 

Discussion Forum

The jazz legacy, as i see it.

Started by Travis Klein. Last reply by Bob Garvin Nov 12, 2017. 7 Replies

     I'm only 67 years old so I don't relate well to jazz before the hard bop era.  One thing I know is that the period between the mid 50's and mid 60's produced the music that is most pleasing to…Continue


Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison Dec 9, 2012. 0 Replies

 Peter "LaRoca" Sims is a legendary drummer. Not very well known among jazz fans, very few musicians can boast of having their jazz first concert recorded in one of Sonny Rollins’ masterpieces (A…Continue

Tags: interview, music, jazz, pittsburgh, network

Dr. Larry Ridley: The Roots that Have Produced the Fruits - JazzEd Magazine Feature Article

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Roberta Windle Jun 16, 2011. 1 Reply

June 7, 2011Dr Larry RidleyAn accomplished musical force with decades of experience as a…Continue

Tags: roots, ridley, music, rutgers, manhattan

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on December 27, 2010 at 9:25pm

JAZZED MAGAZINE                      Issue Date: 2009, March

Remembering Freddie!

Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the many cities in the United States with a vibrant and fertile 20th Century jazz legacy. It has produced some of the finest and
leading historic progenitors of Jazz as an art form. The musical talent that
has emerged from "Naptown" includes the likes of Noble Sissle, Wes,
Monk and Buddy Montgomery, J. J. Johnson, Leroy Vinnager, Carl Perkins,
"Pookie" Johnson and Jimmy Coe.

Frederick (Freddie) Dwayne Hubbard walked among these giants. Known for his fiery sound and kinetic energy, this Indiana
native son passed on December 29, 2008. He leaves his indelible mark on
everyone who knew, admired and loved him, and above all on the music. Fellow
"Naptown" musicians who grew up with him and watched him evolve
from a "Jazz Contemporary", to a "Jazz Messenger" and
ultimately an NEA Jazz Master have joined together to remember this Indiana
jazz legend. Read on to learn about Freddie the Man from his brother and some
of his closest friends.

Earmon Hubbard, Jr., Pianist


"Freddie was my baby brother who I can still see as clearly as if he were here talking with me now. I loved him and will miss him. My Mother would get on me sometimes for
being hard on him when I would play chords on the piano and he wasn't getting
it. I would slap him on the back of his head and Momma would tell me to leave
her baby alone. Years later, he came back to Indianapolis and I played a jazz club gig
with Freddie, Larry Ridley, Jim Spaulding and Clifford Jarvis. I will always
treasure the experience of playing with those guys. It was a highlight in my
life. Freddie grew very quickly and I am proud that he is my brother. He
tried for several years to get me to come to New York but, I was married with several
children. I told him that it was important for me and my wife to raise our
kids in Indianapolis.
Freddie told me that he respected me as a strong man for putting my family
first and turning down an opportunity to pursue a career in music. He left an
outstanding recorded legacy for all of us to enjoy."

James Spaulding, Saxophonist and Flautist


"There is so much to remember about this wild and gifted free spirit. We all are inspired, sharing some of his life. My life is musically richer because of the
"Hub". Larry Ridley pulled us together to form the Jazz Contemporaries
when we were teenagers. I will remember the "Hub" because of the
abundance of his God given talents, much like the natural musical talents of
the Montgomery Brothers. I first heard and met Freddie at a Saturday
afternoon jam session. It was at a bar called the Cotton Club. I believe
"Hub" was 16 years old at the time. He had a sound somewhere
between Clifford Brown and Miles. Already an outstanding player, we all knew
he was destined for stardom. He learned his piano skills from his older
brother Earmon Jr., who was self taught by listening to Bud Powell
recordings. "Hub" listened to his brother playing chords and
developed perfect pitch that I believe was God given. A true Aries, Freddie
had a fiery personality. He was an outgoing spirit, energetic, very funny and
loving. Although we were not always in harmony, I have nothing but love for
my friend. His gift to our lives helped pave another path to a future of
love, peace and harmony. WORLD PEACE!"

Lee Katzman, Trumpeter


"Freddie was a young teenaged friend who evolved to become a truly important stylistic Jazz innovator. I was the person in the mid 1950s that introduced and encouraged
him to study with my teacher Max Woodbury of the Indianapolis Symphony
Orchestra. Max would insist that you practice slowly playing several octaves
and make each note match each other with the same measured even tone, breath,
time and consistency. He would chastise you if you made a mistake. This aided
Freddie in developing his control and technique in all registers of the horn.
You hear this in Freddie's recorded performances. He was a special guy who
will be missed. Thank God we have his recorded legacy to reminisce our
personal relationship with him."

Phil Ranelin, Trombonist


"I first met Freddie Hubbard in 1948 at a place called Hill Community Center while we were
attending grade school in Indianapolis,
Indiana. Freddie was about 10
years old and I was 8. In the spring of 1951 we performed together in an
orchestra that was called the Indianapolis All City Orchestra, a collective
of elementary school kids that showed the most promise on their respective
instruments. Freddie and I hit it off pretty well despite the fact that my
school, P.S. 37 and his school, P.S. 26 were heated rivals. Our next musical
encounter was when we were both attending Arsenal Technical
High School.

Playing with Freddie and Wes Montgomery without question are my very favorite moments in music. I remember the first time Freddie brought his own group back to Indianapolis. I believe
it was 1964. I found out where he was playing and sat at the bar waiting for
him with my horn hidden underneath the bar stool. Freddie had his brother
Earmon Jr. playing piano, Larry Ridley, bass, Clifford Jarvis, drums and
James Spaulding, alto sax and flute. Freddie walked in and asked if I had my
horn. I told him I did and he said "I want to hear you but don't come up
on the first tune because you'll want to get paid!" I said
"cool" and ended up playing the whole night after the first tune.
Freddie was my favorite trumpet player and was undoubtedly a genius.

In an interview I was asked, "What made Freddie Hubbard so special and what was the one thing that stood out in his playing?" I answered that there wasn't one thing
that stood out. It was everything: his tone, the warmth of his sound, the
technical brilliance, his sense of harmony, rhythm and overall musical
intelligence. If that did not grab you, his tremendous heart would."

David Hardiman, Trumpeter


"Freddie and I came up on the Eastside of Indianapolis, and went to Public School 26 and Arsenal Technical High School. We studied with the same teachers. Coming from very meager means, as most of
us at that time, I watched Freddie develop into one of the world's greatest
jazz trumpet players. I went to Indiana
University and Butler University
to study music. Freddie remained in Indianapolis
and developed his improvisational and trumpet skills playing with James
Spaulding, the Montgomery Brothers, and was influenced by many of the great
musicians of that time. His move to New York
in 1958 enabled him to connect with Indianapolis
great, trombonist "Slide" Hampton and other famous musicians. When
I visited Freddie during the World's Fair in 1964, he was playing with Max
Roach in Long Island. I remember Freddie
coming to San Francisco
several times after that, and noticing his incredible ability to articulate
with great facility, agility, range and creative ideas like no one since
Clifford Brown. His discography documents his rise to greatness. Freddie
became one of my greatest influences and inspirations along with
"Dizzy", Miles, Clifford Brown and Lee Morgan. Freddie Hubbard's
great musical genius, as a composer/arranger, band leader, and master jazz
trumpet player places him among the "Jazz Trumpet Kings" of the
20th Century. He will be greatly missed by every one of his many friends and

Dr. Willis Kirk, Drummer


"I have known Freddie Hubbard and his family since he was a student at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, IN.
I came up performing with fellow Indianapolis Jazz Greats, Wes, Monk and
Buddy Montgomery, Slide Hampton, Carl Perkins, Leroy Vinnegar, Earl Grandy,
Jimmie Coe, Lee Katzman and other wonderful musicians who played on Indiana Avenue.
Because he was under age, Freddie used to stand outside the clubs and listen
to us play.

Larry Ridley formed a teenage group called the "Jazz Contemporaries" with Freddie, pianist Walt Miller (later Al Plank on piano), Paul Parker on drums, and
Jimmy Spaulding on saxophone. They played frequently at George's Bar on Indiana Avenue.
Freddie really began to develop during this period. He also played with many
of us older musicians, Wes, Monk, Buddy, Slide, Leroy and others. In 1958, he
left for New York
where his career really moved to another level. He was influenced by Clifford
Brown, Lee Morgan, Dizzy, Miles, Kenny Dorham and others. His musical genius
was recognized by many of the world's musicians as he traveled and recorded
with Art Blakey, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, J.J., Philly Joe and other Jazz
greats. Indianapolis
has lost one of its greatest sons. Freddie Hubbard's recordings leave us with
proof of his greatness."

Virgil Jones, Trumpeter


"I probably first heard Freddie play at a jam session at George's Bar on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis. I was about 16 and he was 17. He sounded a lot like Clifford Brown then, but everyone starts somewhere and
that was pretty great. When he moved to New York he developed his own sound. By
the time he was 21, he became himself, the Freddie who matured into the bold,
daring player that I always admired and listened to as part of my personal
collection. He had a unique feel for the blues, bop and his delivery was
powerfully profound. His improvisations were full of variety, spontaneity and
exuberance that was characteristic of his personal nature. I truly loved the
guy and will miss him very much."

Albert Moore, FAA Certified Pilot


"Freddie and I were friends beginning in the 4th grade at P.S. 26 and on to Arsenal Technical High School. My father
bought me a trumpet. Freddie used to come over to hang out with me at my
house and play on it. He had such a natural touch for the instrument that it
discouraged me from thinking that I could ever match him. I told my father
that I wanted to give the horn to Freddie. He contacted Mrs. Hubbard and said
he wanted to give it to Freddie for free. Mrs. Hubbard, who was a beautiful
and proud single parent, refused to accept it for free. She gave my father
five dollars for the horn. This was Freddie's first trumpet. It was made by
Blessing and had a circular dial on it that enabled it to be a B flat or C
Trumpet. Little did we know then that Freddie would become such a jazz giant.
He was my friend and I will miss him."

Michael Ridley, Trumpeter


"Freddie's birthday and mine are three days apart and Mom Hubbard would bake us a cake. The taste and aroma were still vivid in our minds as we reminisced by telephone just a
month before he left us.

Freddie's brother Earmon, an amazing piano player, was his first teacher of the language of "Bebop". Earmon had insight into Bud Powell that provided
"fertile soil" for Freddie's growth,

Freddie and I would go to Chicago to the Regal Theatre and the clubs around 63rd Street and Cottage Grove
to hear the bands playing. Freddie got a chance to play at some jam sessions.
We went together to hear the Chicago Symphony and also the Indianapolis
Symphony featuring Raphael Mendez.

I truly miss Freddie and his music. He brought a lot of joy to people world wide. "Well done "Hub!"

Edythe Fitzhugh, Jazz fan and Indianapolis Jazz family friend


"Indianapolis, Indiana has produced a host of jazz players of note. Of the many was one Freddie Hubbard, fondly known by some as "Hub Cap". He was a product of Arsenal Technical
High School, not Crispus Attucks
High School as has
erroneously been written in some bio sketches of him. Freddie was sometimes
funny, sometimes moody, but always the consummate musician. Those of us who
were fortunate enough to be a part of the era that gave us the "Jazz
Contemporaries" (Larry Ridley, Freddie, James Spaulding, Paul Parker,
Walter Miller/Al Plank), the Montgomery Brothers (Wes, Monk & Buddy),
J.J. Johnson, David Baker, Leroy Vinnegar, Slide Hampton and his musical
family, Phil Ranelin, David Young, "Pookie" Johnson, Jimmy Coe,
"Killer" Ray Appleton, Earl Grandy and too many others to name,
consider ourselves blessed.

Thanks "Hub Cap" for being a friend, the icon you have become and for the legacy you leave. "Ya done good and made us proud!"

Clifford Ratliff, Trumpeter


"Freddie Hubbard has always been an inspiration to me. Since the first time that I got a glimpse of him from the rear vent window in back of "Mr. B's
Lounge", I've always loved his music. For me, no one could play and
phrase a ballad like he could. His music will always be a part of my musical
life and he will be missed."

Chuck Workman, Indy NUVO newspaper writer and Indianapolis Jazz activist


"Freddie was Passion: blowing intense, fiery blasts from the mouth of his horn; Pride: knowing he was taking his horn to new levels of execution; Perfection: always
raising his personal bar of performance. As he told me, "I thought I was
some kind of superman."


Posted by Dr. Larry Ridley


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