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 Lawrenceville & raised in Garfield. Graduate of Central Catholic, Duquesne University. Voice of Pittsburgh Steelers since 1994. Voice of Pitt Football and Basketball since 1970. I miss the Hurricane, the Crawford Grill, the Balcony & Dowe's at Ninth.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Erroll Garner heads a list that's much too long to compile. Joe Negri is high on that list. As is John Wilson, Harold Betters, Jimmy Ponder, Jimmy Sapienza & Gene Ludwig
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Rythmn House, D'Imperio's, CJ's, Penn Brewery, Martini's, Jackson's @ Southpointe, Theatre Caberet, Manchester Craftsman's Guild
Travelling with Pitt and the Steelers has allowed me to hear, see and meet musicians around the nation. Am proud to call the Four Freshmen, Dave McKenna, Ralph Lalama, Glenn Drewes & Scott Hamilton among my friends.
Comment Wall (9 comments)
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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 details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB
Hi Bill - Its my pleasure to have you as a friend. Good to know your a Pittsburgh local and a Jazz enthusiast. Have not had the pleasure meeting you yet but sooner or later our paths will cross at one of the local Jazz Venues. Let me know if your in the house - I'll do the same.
Good to know that you're a jazz fan. We actually saw you one night at Martini's, my husband and I were playing with Spider. We're playing at Gullifty's on Friday, Jan 23rd. Come check us out. Also, you can visit our webpage at www.phoenixjazzproject.com Hope to see you around.
Hey Bill it's great you are on the Network now. You don't know me but i have followed your career for years. As for me I worked with John Costa for a couple of years until he died also Benny Benack Sr. and several big name singers and musicians. I have a website that tell all the places I have been take a look at TroyWCampbell.com)Regards
I have always appreciated your support of local jazz. Thank you so much for adding your presence to this network. Please invite your jazz friends to join as well. I'll be posting your picture on my page from the Crawford Grill. Your opinions and comments will be very welcome.