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, Parlanto 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.
DUQ needs to play more modern music...music made by the artists of today for today's experiences and ears! (there...I said it!)
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
all of them...hopefully there will be more
Ava, CJ's, Gullifty's
Andrew Kirk, 27, originally from Pittsburgh P.A., started playing the drums at the age of 12. His style originated in rock bands, and moved into jazz after attending the Mellon Jazz Festival student clinics where he met his future teacher and mentor, the great Roger Humphries, the drummer from Horace Silver’s groups that recorded “Song for My Father” and “Cape Verdean Blues”.
His style changed as he learned jazz in the clubs by going to jam sessions led by the Pittsburgh jazz scene’s established guard. Andrew then attended James Madison University and after 2 years on the football team, joined the Jazz Ensemble lead by Chuck Dotas.
He got his first regular gigging experience during his time in college in bands lead by saxophone professor and innovator Dave Pope, and various student ensembles.
He spent four years after school in Virginia (coming back periodically to Pittsburgh), including a time in Charlottesville, where he worked with many artists, including the great trumpet player John D'Earth. John also brought Andrew on as a featured performer with the UVA Jazz Ensemble.
His time away from home also included 11 months at sea on cruise ships, performing with the Andy Bianco and Joe Filipow trio's.
Andrew has recently moved back to Pittsburgh, PA and will be collaberating with many familiar faces, once again becoming an active member of the scene.
Playing in bands ranging from jazz, rock, pop, reggae, soca, hip-hop, and newgrass. his versatility and unique voice on his intrument make him an in demand drummer.
You were throwing down last night. Great to have yu back on the scene. you have lots of friend here already and many more to make os get busy. Check out the videos of Joe Harris with Dizzy's band while you're at it. Thank you for joining.
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