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.
Liz Rueger of Independent Artist Reps is working with me. Our next project is Unicity Festival in Middletown, DE (www.unicityfestival.com) on Aug. 2nd, 2:45 on the High Art Stage. She's also supporting my gig in Cleveland, OH, at Downtime, 7-10pm on Aug. 20th.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Need to get to know more
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
New area for me but I'm willing to learn.
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Haven't been there yet but years ago someone from Pittsburgh saw me at a Holiday Inn somewhere, when on business, and said I definitely needed to play in Pittsburgh because I'd go over great there so I'm up for it, guys.
At 71 I released my first jazz-vocal CD during the winter of 2008 (http://www.cdbaby.com/ellifordyce), am working on the follow-up for Jan. 1, 2009, and am launching internationally what has been an on-and-off performing history as a jazz singer. I've been doing some on-camera acting (another life-long dream) starting at 62. A project with which I'm involved is making a feature-length doc about all of the above and more and in developement is a talk/variety show for TV and/or new media (think Oprah meets Mike Douglas) which I'll host and include those and all my other passions. I also coach jazz singers and other performers, life-coach to folks to help them manifest their creative dreams, and host a yahoo group to exchange good news and resources in life-coaching, healing, holistic-health, metaphysics, quantum physics, creativity and life (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NYLOAwork) to which anyone interested is invited. I have a 5-lb. Yorkie who is frequently on-stage/on-camera with me (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aTEHdqHdg8 -- the studio audio to be synched with this when I get to it).
And so it goes! Look forward to meeting many of you.
Eli...congrats on the career...love your sound and arrangements...tasty indeed...with a great use of your tone and timber (no dead wood..just great voicings...) signed on to your website and get to the NYC area couple times a year from Maine...lived and worked in the NYC area for 20 years...so geting back there is a treat...check into summer gigs in Maine too and the American Music Festival in Bangor in the end of August...a great venue....all my best to you and all in your life...always b
Thanks for your speedy response. I understand about originals but you are so welcome to come and join the conversation and let folks know what you are doing musically. www.blogtalkradio.com/musicwoman
Break a leg on your re-debut, Elli. I'm on my way to L.A. for the weekend on your big day, so won't be able to support you with my physical presence, but I do have a few Cleveland acquaintances I'll pass the word to.
I'm so glad to hear you are returning to the Tri-state area. we have many members who are very close so I suggest you post your announcement on the "events" tab of your page fro all members to see. Also search the membership for members in the Ohio area and add them as friends. You can send a message to all of your friends with one click. I hope I can catch you soon. Thanks for sharing your news.