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.
The 10th annual Suite Life, featuring Poogie Bell and his All-Stars, is a musical tribute to the life and legacy of Kelly Strayhorn Theater namesake Billy Strayhorn. Reared in Homewood, the legendary pianist, arranger and composer made essential contributions to the Duke Ellington Orchestra, sharing in a rich collaboration and shaping American songwriting and culture. This concert honors Strayhorn's birthday, celebrates his continued influence on artists today and works to ensure that his work…See More
"History both personal and social instructs and informs. Ignore at one's own peril. That aside, to be present in the moment look and see three things in front of you. Or simply listen to three sounds that surround you.
As Kalidasa said . . . In…"
"I can imagine being a graduate student and captivated by the breadth of the man. I had similar good fortune of studying in grad school at CMU with an the artist/painter Sam Gilliam, painter from D.C. Sam taught me a lot including how to think like…"
"Dr. Harrison -- I'm a little challenged by this website where I see I inadvertently liked my own page (⊙＿⊙) Would like to say I was moved to read about Fred Staton and inspired to checkout his sister's obituary in the Times where the…"