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




What is happening to live music venues locally and nationally and why? Are live musicians an endangered species or will we stand up and fight back? Weigh in!

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Members: 150
Latest Activity: Aug 31, 2018

Discussion Forum

Make Pittsburgh Great Again

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison May 24, 2018. 0 Replies

Feeling unwelcome, James Street Speakeasy owners to close up

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Dr. Nelson Harrison Oct 24, 2017. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by martin thomas on September 4, 2015 at 5:49pm

senior homes a re a great venue for musicians, especially solo performers. There is usually a piano, sometimes a sound system and they always turn off the TV. The gigs are usually one hour either in the morning or the afternoon. I seldom play clubs anymore; I don't have to bring a crowd. It's a great gig.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 4, 2015 at 4:36am

Club Bonafide, located at 212 East 52nd Street, is bringing music back to 52nd Street with the same open, embracing attitude as existed when 52nd Street was known as "Swing Street." Richard Bona views Club Bonafide, as a vehicle for reigniting an openness within venues both by doing away with exclusivity clauses and by looking to instill a more genre-blind booking. In this way, Bona hopes to encourage a celebration of live music and an environment of collaboration that he views as crucial to building a scene. “Charlie Parker was performing on 52nd Street every night,” he notes. “And that’s part of what made him great. The artists have to be able to perform, and it helps no one if a great musician can only play in New York at a major club maybe three times a year.”

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 4, 2014 at 6:57pm

S.F. Club Yoshi's to Nix Jazz Programming

On the heels of the purchase of San Francisco nightclub Yoshi's in June has come the announcement that the venue will not be hosting any more jazz concerts. The venue's new owners real estate developer Michael E. Johnson, says he plans to move away from the restaurant's Japanese food identity as well, aiming for something with lower price tags to attract a broader audience. The club still plans to program a variety of musical acts.

Yoshi's San Francisco is the seven-year-old offshoot of the original Yoshi's in Oakland, which has been in operation for 42 years.
Comment by Francis Bruce Marion, DC on August 7, 2012 at 12:42am

Now every Wed. night at TANA's Ethiopian Cuisine on Baum in E. Liberty from 8:30 till late is MPG Jazz with Mark Lucas playing exquisite jazz guitar, Jeff Montgomery on drums, Joe Sheehan on keys and who knows on bass because John Hall, Jr is touring in till Jan. 2013! The Jazz is great at TANA's with everybody dropping in the improvise with The MPG Jazz Quartet! sincerely Dr Bruce from

Comment by Adam Johnston & James Street on December 12, 2011 at 4:59pm

James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy is proud to become a member of the jazz community.  As a venue we hope to be home to all jazz artists that will have us.  We are aware of the rich jazz history that this place has, help us breath new life back into James Street.  With your help we hope to make this town swing!!  We are excited to hear all you comments and suggestions.... Any way we can help enrich the jazz scene in pittsburgh, we are ready. 

Comment by Francis Bruce Marion, DC on September 10, 2011 at 6:08am

Last night I enjoyed The Roger Barbour Jazz Trio and Blues man Richard Wilson at The Taste of DahnTahn, 535 Liberty Avenue PGH 15222. Roger Barbours Trio is the every Wednesday.The food I had there was great & reasonably priced! Sincerely Dr Bruce of 

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 10, 2011 at 5:22am
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 10:49:22 -0400

Dear Friends and Jazz Lovers,
     I just received this morning a call from Tony Mowod, the leader of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, that the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has decided to cancel all jazz groups playing on Sunday evenings beginning this Sunday, September 11, 2011.
     The Pittsburgh Jazz Society is now looking for another venue that would host their Sunday jazz evenings.
     We are very disappointed that we will not be performing this Sunday evening at the Rivers Casino, but you know what they say
Yours truly,
Jerry Lucarelli
Comment by Ricco J.L.Martello on October 9, 2010 at 12:13am
Hey check out the story I wrote on Roy Ayers and Tom Brown
Comment by Jay Harmon on January 14, 2010 at 1:52pm
I think Musicians MUST rethink their presentaions of the music. I was brought up on Duke, Dizzy. Yardbird. Miles & Basie. I have played the
sax for 45 years, However, this is 2010 and music has CHANGED.We
simply cannot expect masses of people to gravitate to a style of
music that is 60 years old , if we don't add elements of the 21st
century to it .Nostalgia only goes so far.
I think it is a bit of stubborness on the part of jazz musicians
against ANYTHING smacking of R&B. But like it or not, people
want music that has an element of dance to it.
People want, in a way , to participate, not merely sit and listen.
There is a lot of R&B music that can be presented with a jazz
flavor,but , in my humble opinion.You CANNOT do swing ALL NIGHT!
A lot of the 80's and 90's R&B music could be redone
with a jazz feel, but you have to arrange it properly.
Done properly, I believe a style like this WOULD re-energize
jazz music and fill venues.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 21, 2009 at 4:43am
I also heard that the former Sassie Marie's and erstwhile James Street Tavern are open for business again. any new on this would be welcomed here.

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