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



       In Her Own Words
Devon Smeal
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  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • United States
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    05 Whole World In His Hands
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    Whole World In His Hands
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    07 Oh Happy Day
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    06 That's A Plenty
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About Me:
Local Trumpet Player and music educator who enjoys playing in most any setting. As a former military bandsman, I have played for everything from brass quintets, jazz combos, big bands, top 40 bands, concert bands, parade bands and even a punk band (outside the military of course)!
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HMBB Post concert reaction...

Posted on February 20, 2012 at 7:48pm 0 Comments

Great concert at St. Max!  Standing "O".  I will post audio clips as I mix the show.  I can't wait to get a real CD of this group.  Thanks to Ray Defade for his fantastic playing!  Look for more show dates soon too.  (Also on my FB page)...


Posted on February 16, 2012 at 1:48am 0 Comments


Hot Metal Brass Band with special guest Ray DeFade (saxophones)

Amazing Grace...Traditional Hymn/arr. Smeal

Saints...Black & Purvis/arr. Smeal

You'll Never Walk Alone...Traditional Hymn/arr. Smeal

The Lost Souls...The Dirty Dozen Brass/arr. Smeal

       *Featuring Ray DeFade on Soprano Saxophone

He's Got the Whole World In His Hands...Traditional Hymn/arr. Smeal

That's A Plenty...arr.…


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At 8:41pm on February 4, 2012, Devon Smeal said…
Hot Metal Brass Band is playing on Sunday, February 19th at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Homestead, PA. The concert is at 3 p.m. and the cost is simply a free will offering. It is part of a concert series called "Sacred Music in Sacred Places", but I was asked to make it more lively than the typical sacred music...come see if we succeed!  The group is a brass quintet with drum set and this concert includes special guest, Ray Defade.  The style is an eclectic mix including ragtime, gospel, pop, and blues.

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