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
Doug Bentz
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Pittsburgh Connection
I was born and raised here in the 'Burgh, and also had my own contemporary jazz dance company "The Extension" in Pittsburgh during the '80's.

Pretty well known for my jazz dance productions here in Pittsburgh like:

- "The Jazz Nutcracker" (based on music & arrangements by Duke Ellington & Billy Stayhorn and played live by Benny Benack Jr. and his Swing Band at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in December 2002)

- "Let's Swing" (Benny Goodman music also played live by Benny Benack Jr. and his band at the Byham in February 2007)

- "Allegro Jazzioso" (Bach's "Brandenburg Concerto #5 with a jazz arrangement by Jacques Loussier at the Byham in April 2005)
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
I have enjoyed collaborating with Kenny Blake, Roger Humphries,Keith Stabler, Michelle Bensen, Benny Benack Jr. & his swing band and my soul brother musician at Point Park....Charles Hall.
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Used to be Graffiti, The Balcony, and Anthony's on the South Side.

Now....Gullifty's late after rehearsals eating, sipping wine & listening to Kenny Blake & company lay it down.
About Me:
Had an extensive career dancing in Europe, NYC and Pittsburgh.
A lot of serious concert work but also a lot of musical theatre to balance it out. Currently I am a Professor in the Dance Department of Point Park University where I specialize in teaching and choreographing contemporary jazz dance.
Artist or Fan
artist, fan

Doug Bentz's Blog

Happy New Year

Posted on December 25, 2008 at 8:57pm 0 Comments

Hey Nelson & all the PJN folks. This is my first blog. Hope it works.
Best wishes for 2009. My production of "The Snow Queen" opened and had a nice run at the Playhouse...but I've had some pretty serious
leg surgery which has curtailed some Holiday Festivities. So have a couple on me!

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At 5:51pm on December 30, 2008, Doug Bentz said…
Hey PJN's my motto for 2009...."When you eat your rice, just eat your rice." in... "Enjoy each moment just for itself.

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