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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

The Future of the Jazz Industry

Information

The Future of the Jazz Industry

I started this group because I am curious as to what your thoughts are on: the main problems facing the industry, what you think can be done to resolve these problems, and what actions can be taken to ensure a flourishing future for jazz music.

Location: Pittsburgh
Members: 68
Latest Activity: May 26, 2017

Discussion Forum

New York: Free Jazz and the Avant-Garde

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Kevin Hurst, Sr. Nov 29, 2012. 2 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on June 12, 2009 at 1:26am
Kara,
Wondeful guiding thoughts. I have found, throught my discussions with some many people,they are just afraid. So many complain that we can not get along,but they do not extend that hand. Some many "say" they want better ,however receed back into thier comfort zone everytime. Afraid of what they may have to face for having thier own thoughts and ideals.

Again beautiful thoughts.
Comment by Adam Henderson on April 23, 2009 at 4:05am
I for one hope to be part of the future of the Jazz industry. As my profile reads, I'm in the beginning stages of forming a jazz fusion group.
I've learned a few things from the rock scene in Pittsburgh and I'm trying to translate those things and gather new ideas and info about getting into the jazz scene.
As a note to one of the things CWR said, I am big into "group" music. The theory behind what I'm trying to form is to have a core group, likely 4 or 5 people, and feature other artists with different instruments and styles on a broad range of tracks melting jazz into many other genres.

So the whole package and experience will never will focus on one person alone. Rather the sound is rich with the different influences and ever changing and flying in all directions.

I think if my idea pans out, it could be a great thing in this city and hopefully well beyond.
I'm looking for a pianist and a vocalist/lyricist. So any help I can get on here would be fantastic.
Comment by Floreece Davis on March 30, 2009 at 10:13am
I am now in the Phoenix, Az city of Jazz now as a resident and am still learning the scene here and work conditions. I will be able to comment further after I have had a chance to circulate a little more. As an introduction, it seems quite promising so far. I like what I am experiencing.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on March 29, 2009 at 3:41pm
Thank each of you for your participation and comments on this important topic. The very act of doing this is forging a solution as many of you have already said. This is great.
Comment by James Harber on March 29, 2009 at 8:17am
Aloha,

I would like to invite all members of Pittsburgh Jazz Network, musicians, singers and just lovers of outstanding music to visit us, at www.thejazzintersection.com and become part of our family. If you're an artist, your music is welcomed on our site. The world is waiting for the exciting music of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Send me album's or mp3's. I would love to play your music for the world to hear.
We also, love doing interviews.

Send to; thejazzi@thejazzintersection.com or james_harber2001@yahoo.com.
98-402 Koauka Lp. #2011
Aiea, Hawaii 96701
(808) 486-9759 (office)
(808) 294-9131 (cell)
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on March 21, 2009 at 4:05am
One thing I’ve noticed, is the inability(lately) to communicate, between "artists ",as far as that goes between humans. Many drive head fast into a idea, but come up short when theory comes close to becoming practice. One thing, I believe ,stops many for succeeding is that strange thing breed out of the 80's. Independence (which started in the mid-1950's) which has killed the community, so to say. So many have been able to form their own paths or ideals, but they have not been able to get over the idea of having different ideals. Fear and greed cuts like a knife. Now here we are, few belong to groups other then to promote themselves, we have little ties to the outside world other then for self promotion. The only way something gets done is if there’s something(if not all) in it for ”me”. Let me state that’s not a bad thing, wanting your share. However its not the time for selfish needs, and its not going to be that time again for so years. If those creative minds can agree to disagree, culture has a chance. I've heard that we learn from our past, I'm not sure how that works but it must by correct. So what has our past taught us? Its teaches us to take different paths each time we re-approach our goals ( rules of combat.) Some many do not want to change and are locked into the idea that the past is a place we can bring back. It is not , it’s the past never to be repeated. However we can adapt what we’ve learn from those seemingly far off days and forge a new time.
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on March 21, 2009 at 3:41am
Wide open is a understament Kennard. What else does the common person have but that good feeling they get from Culture. Not that pricey over the top grand standing culture either. The Culture that is easy to swollow and makes them feel its about them.
Comment by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on March 21, 2009 at 2:48am
I agree with CWR; now's the time; the doors are opened wide...but we have to apply ourselves.
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on March 21, 2009 at 12:46am
If I may I would like to offer answers ot your questions. Even thought i lay a brood brush stroke I feel they are good answers to problems you face as creative minds and entertainers. As folows~
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on March 21, 2009 at 12:43am
The perfect opportunity of a life time is here; if that’s what you need to get yourself in gear. Unless you’re blinded by the deceptions, which may be the case, you’d noticed this decade has affected the whole human race. Everything from Corruption to Greed has boiled to a head; Mother Nature keeps us aware she’s not dead. Millions of lives changed over a minuscule period of history; via that beast misery. Never before have we had such an amazing decade then this the last one gone by. A decade of change for the good, and a time of terror from the sky. A decade of which is becoming a blur slipping into obscurity doomed to die. Yes -yes the time is near, a time for you to record how we ended up here. In times, as this, when it’s hard to trust, everyone lying to cover their steps, the artist must sooth those injured souls and record their amazing stories to be told.

Where are the Singers of song, with lyrical stories that give us calm? Where are you the vocal prophet, putting our history in those pages, documenting our misgivings and passions that will teach the ages? Like those in times of despair that we have followed, song is comfort for the pill that’s hard to swallow.

Where are you writer of words, your finely honed weapon’s need to be heard? Where is your great novel of imagination, inspiring us with silver lined fabrications? Where is you’re word giving us the lessons we need -rapped in stories or told straight out, giving us the right to lay in place or to speak out. Your words give us consolations, taking from us our pain and fear -bring us closer to that we hold dear.

Where are the musical leaders of our time, mixing the rhythm with the rhyme? With music so up lifting it fits our soul, giving us reason to explore and grow. You take away the day’s trouble with the tapping of our feet, happiness entrusted in a package so neat. Where are the taker’s of our folklore, to you we give our secrets and our soul, our troubles nothing more.

Where are the artist’s that dictate the passing of time to their canvas, from nothing you giving us another advantage. Colors and stokes placed with dedication, giving our life eternal explanation. With pigment and thought you give a window to our actions, telling all our stories from your observations.

In times as this one thing is certain, tomorrow will bring surprises and frustrations, without creative mind’s to sort it all out our history will be up to a distant generation. Why give those that yet have arrived this daunting task, a mission of clouded terms that they may convolute in inaccurate facts. Stand up those that want the story to be in line, use your wonderful minds in telling Our history of desperate times.



As I sit sleepless, well past a normal hour on this cool mid week’s night, I realize my mission like a bright star out side, my life will not be showered in gold, however we have a story that needs to be told. We must do our duty and become Historians of our season, to deny it just fails to reason.
 

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