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.
Chicago transplant since 1976.Masters degree in Ethnomusicology at University of Pittsburgh.Leader of House of Soul Band.Tenor and soprano saxophonist.I love Jazz and R&B music.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Carl Arter,Stanley Turrentine,Ahmad Jamal,etc.
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I love great music.I have a passion for sax playing and study.
I enjoy practicing more now than ever before.I enjoy meeting new people and being of service to the Unsung heroes of Pittsburgh's Music Legacy.
My cous out in Cali Charles Lumpkins recommended you to me when I told him I am relocating back to Pgh., I told him I knew you in the 70s! My late uncle was a Dexter man and I learned his tunes back then and am glad I listened to him because I learned Coltrane, Bird and Rollins before I listened to their playing. Along with Stanley T and Grover I listened to their playing first and should have with the masters.
I have been playing soprano exclusively since'96 but got a tenor and a flute ('90) so I am a multi again! Here is some Dexter- kev Fried Bananas- my version
Hey Calvin I remember when you were at PITT getting your masters in Ethnomusicology. I was there studying engineering and was in the concert band three terms to get one elective! I was also in the jazz band one term with you, I think Kenny Thomas, Mona Riscoe, Karen Braithwaite all tried out or were in the band. I met and played with Dan Wasson in a group I had and he played in the jazz band after I left.- kevin hurst p.s. I remember you loved Dexter Gordon!