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 am from Pittsburgh born and raised. I have been playing piano/singing since the age of 5. I studied with Greg Lutz, with Roger Humphries and Dwayne Dolphin being my father figures in jazz. I studied at Duquesne University under the direction of Mike Tomaro and Sean Jones. Pittsburgh musicians are like a second family to me.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Roger Humphries - Dwayne Dolphin - Lou Shrieber - Sean Jones - Nelson Harrison - Chris Hemmingway - Kim Nazarian - James Johnson III - Carolyn Perteete - Tony Depaolis - Chris Parker
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
90.5 DUQ - Pittsburgh
88.1 - Los Angeles
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Manchester's Craftsman Guild
James Street (North Side)
Eddie is a pianist / singer / songwriter from Pittsburgh, PA. Eddie began his musical journey at age five when he got his first piano. He was so inspired by the innovative sound of Harry Connick Jr. that at age 12 he sent a demo to Connick's agent in hopes of receiving some feedback, but he never expected to receive a phone call from Harry, personally inviting him to his concert in Pittsburgh, PA. During the performance, Harry, who was intrigued by the demo, invited Eddie on stage to perform a duet. Eddie was inspired greatly on both a personal and a musical level. He went on to perform on stage with Harry Connick, Jr. on four occasions in Pittsburgh and Chicago. By age 13, Eddie played his first professional gig and continued to fine tune his piano skills with private lessons. At age 16, Harry Connick, Jr. arranged for Eddie to study privately with his mentor, Ellis Marsalis, in New Orleans, LA., and between his junior and senior years in high school, Eddie received a scholarship to study at the summer program of the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Joanne Brackeen, a professor at Berklee and an extraordinary pianist, heard Eddie play at the Mellon Jazz Festival in Pittsburgh and recommended him for the scholarship. At age 19, Eddie competed in Best New Talent and finished in the top three in both the male singer and instrumentalist categories. As a result of BNT, he received valuable direction from BNT 2003 Judge, Susan Slamer (Sony Label) and went on to record a demo CD at Capital Records in L.A. After graduation, Eddie entered Duquesne Universitys Jazz Studies program on a full scholarhip. The focus on music theory, musicianship, piano technique and performing in ensembles only intensified Eddies love for jazz music. During college, Eddie played hundreds of gigs with the Eddie Wiernik Jazz Quartet and even had the distinction of playing at Lincoln Center in New York City. Eddie studied voice with Kim Nazarian of New York Voices and has had the opportunity to work with numerous distinguished jazz musicians including Sean Jones, Bob Mintzer, Gregg Fields, Joey DeFrancesco, Capt Jack McDuff, Dave Budway, Roger Humphries and Dwayne Dolphin. He has also been greatly influence by pianist Oscar Peterson. Eddie graduated from Duquesne University in May 2006 with a degree in music education and by June relocated to Los Angeles to pursue his music career. Eddie has been playing showcases all over Hollywood including places like The House of Blues, The Music Box, The Key Club, The Mint, The Bel Age, and B.B Kings. He has just released his debut CD 'Unstructured' with his band Alloy in January 2010.
Thanks for the CD that your Dad gave me last Sunday at my gig with the Roger Humphries Big Band. It's wonderful to learn of your progress and career development. You can keep in touch with all the homies through this network so that when you come through, you'll know what's currently happening and can jump right in. Please add a profile photo so I can feature your page and please add me as a friend.