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.
I fell in love with Pittsburgh in 1975 and felt I would someday make it my home. I loved it's rich history of jazz, and as a vocalist, I knew I could learn to develop my skills being surrounded by such great talent. I have been blessed to work with "jazz-burghers" and can proudly say that you can find no better musicians than who live, and play here!
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
I love them all, especially my recording producer, Jay Dudt and my rhythm section, who includes Mason Embry, Jason Hollar & Subha Das!
But, I have to admit that I get "crazy-happy" playing with Joe Negri, Gene Ludwig, Nelson Harrison, Ken Karsh and Roger Humphries!
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
WDUQ 90.5 FM in Pittsburgh
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I wish I had been here to play the original Crawford Grill.
I really liked playing Foster's for the PJS and had some great times at Dowes on 9th. Penn Brewery has always been loyal to live music and to me and they will forever be one of my favorites!
Donna Bailey - DBS Jazz Vocalist/Song Writer/Recording Artist
Described as being one of the most dynamic, soulful, entertaining vocalists on the jazz scene today, Donna Bailey creates a sophisticated, “coolness” to jazz standards and her own compositions. Her vocal interpretations, along with her captivating personality, have caused audiences to call her absolutely “spell-bounding”. After years of entertaining, Donna describes being invited to perform for the legendary Dave Brubeck, in honor of his 86th birthday at The Manchester Craftsman’s Guild, as one of the most exciting highlights of her career.
She headlined, in 2005, with the Philadelphia-based Eric Mintel Quartet at the Monroeville Jazz Festival. National appearances include the Concorde (Catskills), Dallas, celebrity & political fund raisers, Byham Theater, Kean Theatre, college and university theaters, jazz venues on Rush Street in Chicago, Boston and others.
She won "Entertainer of the Year" in 1991 by Promise Records of New York and was nominated for an ASCAP award for her composition, Charlie’s Place, written for an off-Broadway production of “Harvey”. Her song “Gifts From the Heart” won recognition from the Volunteers of America Group. Donna has also appeared in numerous commercials (NFL with Jerome Bettis), billboards, magazines, industrial films and national ads. Television appearances include The Joe Franklin Show, the Nancy Gold Show and WQED’s “On Q.” She was selected to be the “speaking voice” for the Pittsburgh Symphony’s “Power Kard”.
After Donna’s 2005 CD, “BECOMING…Ballads, Bosssa, Blues and Beyond” that includes two of her original compositions (My Favorite Thing & I Hope You Know) and fun, new “twists” to several standards, including Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” and Peggy Lee’s “Fever”, the DBS Jazz team went to work planning her latest project.
Her latest CD, DONNA BAILEY AND FRIENDS, was released late in 2008. It was produced by four-time Grammy winner, Jay Dudt of Audible Images. The project features nine world-class jazz artists, including Ivan Lins, Hendrik Meurkens, Joe Negri, Wayne Bergeron, Roger Humphries, Sean Jones, Ron Anthony, Jay Ashby and Mike Tomaro. She will be featured in the Winter and Sring issues of Jazziz Magazine.
Donna...thanks for being a fan. You look and sound great. I just found this comment from you. Wish I had seen it weeks ago. In any event, let me know when you will be playing next. Wanna come see you. And if you ever wanna see a hockey game, let me know.
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