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.
George Benson, Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, Nathan James (spoken word), and Ahmad Jamal
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I am a Pittsburgh Public School teacher. My cousin, 93 year old Joe Evans played with many of the greats including Billie Holliday, Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Charlie Parker, Bill Bojangles Robinson, and many others. Cousin Joe discovered, managed, wrote for, arranged, and produced for the Manhattans. He was also the owner of Carnival Records. He is still alive, has written a book titled, Follow Your Heart: Moving w/ the Giants of Jazz, Swing, and Rhythm and Blues and shares many stories about his days as an alto saxman. Thus, my interest in jazz.
Hello there Ed,
My son worked at Prospect Middle before it closed - Will James. I plan to be at the Kwanzaa celebration if all goes well. Thanks so much for communicating with me. I plan to add something to my page about my cousin Joe Evans this week to give people info and to promote his book. The interesting thing that I recently learned is that he was good friends with Sir Walter (John Christian) from WAMO and had friendship with a man, who with his family owned record shops in the Hill District named Travis Klein.
Take good care and you keep in touch too! If I make it to the Kwanzaa celebration, I will introduce myself :-)
I am fine. I am got my MM a year or so ago at Georgia State Univ and now I'm teaching full-time at Benedict College. I play a lot of gigs and trying to raise three kids with my wife. So, all in all I am well. Tell Cynthia I said hello. And Nathan too.
It certainly is the same Emmett Goods. I was in Nathan's class and I believe Cynthia was a few years behind us, but I remember her being in Orchestra with me at some point although can't remember if it was All-City or at CAPA.
That is really exciting to learn about your cousin. It's what this network is all about. Please use your page to promote his story and his book. I read his book some months ago and it was fascinating and inspiring. Thank you for joining and please add me as a friend.
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