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



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Ben Opie
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Pittsburgh Connection
I've lived here for quite some time now.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
David Throckmorton
Paul Thompson
and many others
About Me:
Currently working with: Thoth Trio (second CD available), OPEK, Dust & Feathers, Syrinx Ensemble. Formerly with: Water Shed 5tet, Coal Train, Crawlin' Low Band, Morphic Resonance, etc etc. Currently faculty at CMU and formerly CAPA High School, teaching music technology.
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Ben Opie's Blog

Gullifty's has reopened!

Posted on August 14, 2008 at 1:03pm 1 Comment

After been closed for a couple of weeks, Gullifty's reopened last night. Of course, the reason I mention this is that OPEK is playing there Friday night, and I want to convince as many people as possible to attend. So do come by and celebrate with us, won't you?

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At 4:50am on April 14, 2009, Luiz Santos said…
Feel free to check out my New SPRING Album!
Peace, Luiz
At 1:58pm on March 23, 2009, Chrissy Dee said…
Ben I talked to Your Inner Vagabond-send me an email @ Can give you the deal.
Christiane D
At 1:38am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 12:28am on February 20, 2009, George Gee said…
we go back a long way, don't we? I am glad to see you playing your music!
At 2:38pm on January 18, 2009, Eric Ross said…
Hi Ben: I spoke to Kenan foley about you. Please drop me a note with your email address. Best, Eric Ross
At 9:09am on June 4, 2008, Linda Jones said…
Braxton's music is like a fine Dali painting... at times intriguing, disturbing and beautiful. The CAPA concert was wonderful! George and I enjoyed it. Thanks Ben for all of your work in bringing him to Pittsburgh.

I hope to see you at the next Opek!

At 4:35am on May 12, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

So glad you found us. You have been a pioneering spirit in town for quite some time. I see you know how to use the features of this network. there is a lot of capability here for promotion and exposure worldwide. Please also invite your individual members to join.




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