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.
born in the Hill district, replaced to Las Vegas,.. Crawford Grille and it's many performers were my heart and soul-filling experiences while living in this environ....Have never found anything to top this....still enthusiastic about music and still hacking on my saxes.....My nephew Rob Jones , bassist and fine musician, is a constant influence and mutual jazz lover......I'm still playing alto,tenor,flute,cl.,bari in community and kick's bands..once in awhile get some bucks......
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Joe Negri, Stanley and Tommie Turrentine, J.C. Moses, Earl Garner, Ahmad Jamal, tommy Turk, henry mancini,sammy nestico,J.C.Moses,harold Bettors,Phil Brontz, Henry Mancini, Sammie Nestico, Walt Harper, Danny Conn, Don Grossi,Art Blakey, paul chambers, bill scott........mostly all deceased and many more escaping my memory...
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
KUNV 91.5.. Vegas....L.A. Jazz spot.....Cox Cable 930.....105.7 smooth jazz...Vegas
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
MCG for me,....now Jazz Network
born in Pgh 1934; played in fifth avenue high school under Stanley Levin; also attended Peobody High School and after, was in 82 nd Army band and also in San Juan, Puerto Rico army band; attended Elizabethtown college and graduated from UNLV with a music-teaching degree....worked Nevada Test Site many years and retired from pipefitting and plumbing; resumed playing in various kicks bands and community bands here in Vegas.. once in awhile get paid....love music......
Artist or Fan
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Happy New Years Ben!....all the best in the coming year for you and all those around you too...I can relate so well to working then getting back into music...here in Maine there are so many musicians from all walks of life and in their "mature" years who play out a great deal...and with great style and devotion too...several players I regularly play with are in their 70's and 80's....and they've got great chops too...Sweet Emma barrett on the piano in the shot I took in '74 was well into her 80's and doing just fine......and then some...if you're ever in Maine...(strongly recommend summer...lol) give a holler and i'll see where the action is and get you into some serious "conversations" with other players...be well...keep on keepin' on ...always b