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.
"Mara.....what a wonderful and free spirited voice you are in this world that is JAZZ...saw your calendar and wonder if your quartet plays in the NYC area in May...would love to get to hear you...your artistry is lovely indeed, and it will be…"
Ok, we have 41 members and it is almost January. Can we find one day to have a planning meeting- I could use four volunteers to lead a panel discussion on the future of music at Westinghouse and in Pittsburgh in general. Please reply with input soon!
My one of my best friends is from P'burgh and have visited the city many...but not enough times
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
The list is truly too long to list...but "the Elf" Errol Garner has to be one of my all time favorite musicians
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
XM radio's XM Jazz...and a lot of other great Internet Jazz stations...including Pandora.com ...which can teach you about so many many performers through their vast library of music...amazing
NPR's jazz programming...a great start with the public media....
WERU in downeast Maine a panaply of great musical styles...can be picked up anywhere's on the web all over the world...amazing...Maine home grown too....
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Haven't gotten to any yet.....only in town on very short business trips in the 80's ...all work no play...bummer...
Professional photographer/artist for over 40 years, art teacher, jazz afficionado scince 9years old...got back to playing jazz 19 years ago when I moved to Maine..cornetist, flugel, trumpet, euphonium, valve 'bone.....looking to relocate to P'burgh...or...wherever my next life path takes me...
Thanks for writing! I am glad you're enjoying the music. Matching visual art along with the music is something I often think about, and your photos are lovely - let's be in touch about this idea. Typically, the group plays in NYC every month, but I've just been so busy putting together our April tour, that I've hardly been able to think about what comes afterwards. Our next show in the city is the tour finale - April, 20 @ Tutuma Social Club in midtown. If you feel comfortable forwarding your email address, I'd be happy to add you to our mailing list, which will ensure that you get a heads up about NYC performances. All my best, Mara
Happy New Year to you and many blessings for 2009.
Your website photography is gorgeous. I am originally from Nova Scotia, so your photos reminded me of home. And thanks for your comments on the songs, so glad you like the music, and if interested the CD is available at www.cdbaby.com/cd/kathleeng .Would be nice to hear your cornet on some of my tunes. Always happy to meet a creative person like yourself. Cheers.
All the best,