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.
Retired High School Principal, Fine Arts Director, Band Director.Past President I.A.J.E. Black Jazz Music Caucus, President Emeritus Texas Black Music Educators, Texas Jazz Music Educators. Currently serves as Concert, Marching and Jazz Clinician, Adjudicator, Consultant, Conductor and Speaker,Member of The Portis Brothers Owner of Portis Kountry Kitchen & Gifts Corpus Christi, Texas.Married to Dr. Verna Johnson Portis.
I am Joby Brown, a Pitt Jazz Band alumnus and I need your help. I suffer from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a debilitating eye disease that is getting progressively worse, and could result in blindness.
My wife and I founded and direct Re-Konception!, a national award winning music ministry. We are sponsoring Advent of Autumn Christian Music Festival at Beaver Falls High School’s LGI Room September 28th & 29th. We are trying to raise $12,000 to cover a new surgical procedure that restores vision, but does not completely cure the disease.
You can help by becoming a patron, or by placing an ad in the Festival program which will have full sized 8.5 X 11” pages in full color. Ad rates are $100 for full page, $50 for half page and $25 for quarter page. Nearly a dozen artists from the Tri-State area are scheduled to appear, including recording artists, bands, groups, soloists and dancers.
Please call Joby at (724) 622-1869 if you need additional information. Checks or money orders should be made out to: Re-Konception!
Mailing address: PO Box 14 Beaver Falls PA 15010-0014
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