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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.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
Chelsea Baratz
  • Female
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • United States
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Profile Information

Favorite website
http://www.facebook.com/chelseabaratz
Pittsburgh Connection
Born & raised in the 'burgh!
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Jeff "Tain" Watts, Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, Richie Goods, Ron Affif, Sean Jones
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
90.5 WDUQ
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
All of them.
About Me:
There’s a new voice on the saxophone, forged in the gritty steel town of Pittsburgh. Her name is Chelsea Baratz and at 24, her soulful sound is a fiery combination of be-bop swing and hip hop hooks. Her debut release "In Faith" illuminates the distinctive tenor of an emerging player and original composer. She’s a band leader whose music follows in the footsteps of 1960’s soul jazz and the hard bop roots of her hometown. Innovative and ear-bending with a sizzling originality to her horn, Baratz’s music is heartfelt, simple in its power to bridge quiet moments with bursts of fiery improvisation. When she picks up her saxophone, the soul of her own life comes alive. It’s a reflection of the obstacles she’s overcome and provides a backbone to her music. On "In Faith", it’s evident that she is no stranger to pain, struggle, love and loss. These experiences are gracefully embued in her music. Or as Baratz simply states:

“Art mirrors life, and music expresses what words can not. It’s vital for people to know that I'm here to bring the soul and feel-good back to jazz music and bridge the gap between artist and listener.”

Her debut album, "In Faith", produced by trumpeter Maurice Brown, brings this powerful message home. Baratz’s inventive sound and vibe carries forward the past echoes of Pittsburgh’s gospel, blues and soul heritage into the present day. On "In Faith", she catches the ear of listeners with nine original compositions, ending with a Fela Kuti tribute. Nine songs with the weight of conscious, as well as a propulsive beat. Compositions that reveal the young artist's strong roots in the jazz tradition while incorporating influences from R&B, hip-hop, gospel, contemporary jazz, and blues. In addition to Maurice Brown’s presence as a producer and player, "In Faith" boasts a roster of Corey Wilkes on trumpet & flugelhorn; Orrin Evans & Mike Murray on piano; Richie Goods & Luques Curtis on bass; Obed Calvaire, Jevon Rushton & Joe Blaxx on drums as well as special guests Renee Nuefville (vocals), Chris Rob (vocals/Moog synth), Raymond Angry (keys) and Craig Handy (flute). Her first album as a band leader displays a confident artist who intuitively gathered the right musicians together in the studio to cultivate her distinctive sound, resulting in a “recommended pick” by Jazzchicago.net (http://www.jazzchicago.net/reviews/2010/QuickHits6.html).

Early in 2006, Baratz emerged as a band leader upon meeting trumpeter Corey Wilkes. Wilkes, the Chicago native with his own searing polish, joined her on stage in Pittsburgh for Baratz’s first live recording. This would mark the start of a long-running musical collaboration between the duo. Baratz hooked up with Wilkes in Chicago to play with his quintet, performing at Millennium Park as a special guest with the Chicago Young Lions Project, alongside the legendary Jimmy Cobb & Von Freeman.
In New York, she met trumpet virtuoso and producer Maurice Brown. Brown was impressed by Baratz’s playing and magnetic personality. She joined him in the studio to record "Mobetta & Soul'd U Out: The Official Mixtape" (Brown Records), Brown’s stellar 2007 release. 2007 was a busy year for Chelsea: she played on Aretha Franklin's album, "Jewels in the Crown” and performed at the Sisters in Jazz collegiate all-stars IAJE conference in New York, the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the Costa Rica International Jazz Festival in San Jose, Costa Rica. In 2008 she was featured as an artist & composer on Wilkes’ album, "Drop It" (Delmark Records).
Baratz maintains a busy performing schedule, having played with Louis Hayes, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, the Roots, Soulive, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, DJ Logic, Roy Hargrove, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Vincent Herring, Benny Green, Branford Marsalis, Robert Irving III, the Orrin Evans Quartet, and Evans' Captain Black Big Band, and the lightning-hot soul jazz quintet, the Maurice Brown Effect.
Website:
http://www.chelseabaratz.com
Artist or Fan
artist

Video from the "In Faith" album release event in NYC. Visit me on Myspace.com/chelseabaratz or at AllAboutJazz.com/chelseabaratz for more videos: CD Release video part 2 feat. Nicholas Payton; Chelsea Baratz performing with the Maurice Brown Effect in Philly, PA; Chelsea Baratz performing with Christian McBride and DJ Logic


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Comment Wall (7 comments)

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At 1:54am 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 details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB


At 5:28am on September 25, 2008, Ed Skirtich said…
Hi Chelsea,

Congratulations on all your musical accomplishments.
That's really great that your playin' with all the current jazz musicians and your broading the genre of jazz with your new compositions.

I really miss playin' with you though at the weekly jam sets with Tony Campbell at CJ's (I was the young white guy with blonde hair and glasses and kept to myself a lot because I had to get into the zone so I could hang with all the jazz musicians, we jammed together with Roy Hargrove and his crew and Terence Blanchard and his crew and Maynard's bandmembers), but I understand the fact that you needed to move onward and upward.

You are such a courageous young lady to be doing so well and making a successful career both inside and outside of Pittsburgh.

Keep Swinging!

May God Bless You and continue to give you lots of soul!

If your ever around on a Saturday in Pittsburgh, stop by the Homewood Library on Hamilton Avenue and sit in with The Jazz Workshop, Inc. Jazz Ensemble from 3 PM - 4:30 PM.

Keep Swingin'!
God Bless You!
Your Friend and Fellow Jazz Musician,
Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
ejskirtich@comcast.net
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
At 4:04am on September 25, 2008, Benny Benack III said…
yooooo Chelsea whaddup? Your name looks real good in the pages of Downbeat, haha that review for Corey's cd was great I was so pumped when I saw ur name. I gotta copy that article and bring in a copy to Mr. E he'll go crazyy
At 10:02pm on July 29, 2008, Elizabeth "Betty" Asche Douglas said…
Hey Chelsea, I'm one of the folks that used to flip out at your talent at Roger's James Street jams. I'm not surprised that you're rising so well in the world of music. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Keep the Faith!
At 4:19pm on July 16, 2008, Jeff Rosenthal said…
Hi Chelsea... just saw your name in Jazz Times on an ad for the Corey Wiles Cd. How's NYC?
At 6:46am on June 22, 2008, Benny Benack III said…
heyy yeah i've been gettin out here n there a lil bit. I'm leavin for gov school likeee next week so that should be some good shedtime. How's ur pops band goin? haha hopefully ill c u b4 I leave sometime
At 6:34pm on June 18, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Chelsea,

Your bio shows that you are building quite a career for yourself. Congratulations and best wishes. You are part of the latest wave of the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy which goes back 100 years.

There is a lot of history you can connect with on this network via the photos, sounds and videos to expose your generation to what came before you which cannot be found in books or in the libraries or elsewhere on the internet.

Keep up the good work.

Qik

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