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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.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
Harold Betters
  • Male
  • Connellsville, PA
  • United States
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Harold Betters's Page

Profile Information

Favorite website
http://www.haroldbetters.com
Pittsburgh Connection
407 East Francis Avenue
Phone # 412-414-6115
About Me:
"MR. TROMBONE," HAROLD BETTERS, is a remarkable man who has enjoyed a career spanning over four decades and is admired and respected by fellow musicians, friends, and fans nation-wide.
A native of Connellsville, Pennsylvania, he credits his success to his parents who owned and operated one of the area's hottest jazz spots.

He performed at THE ENCORE in Shadyside for so many years, it became known as "The House that Betters Built." His appearances at renowned nightspots are too numerous to mention, but a few include Pittsburgh's HOLIDAY HOUSE, Shaker Heights VIRGINIAN, Cleveland's THEATRICAL GRILL, and THE CABANA CLUB's Nero's Nook in Palo Alto, California.

With over a dozen albums and CD's to his credit, Harold can be heard on jazz radio stations and in many area clubs. He continues to be a favorite of sports fans by playing regularly at PITTSBURGH STEELER games.

Harold has performed with Louis Armstrong who described his sound as "rich and honest." Other musicians he has worked with include Al Hirt, Slide Hampton, Ramsey Lewis, and Urbie Green. The Harold Betters Quartet toured with Ray Charles and appeared with comedian, Dick Gregory, at New York's Apollo Theater.

He has guested on several television shows including "The Tonight Show," "Merv Griffin," and "Mike Douglas," as well as on local TV programs in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and San Francisco. Recognized by the Playboy Jazz Poll as one of the best trombonists in the country, and as "Mr. Versatility" by Downbeat Magazine, he has also been named "Man of the Year in Music" by the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.

His formal musical training was received at Ithaca College and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. Mr. Betters contributes mastery of his craft to the future by conducting jazz clinics, seminars, and workshops on the campuses of INDIANA, PENN STATE, PITT, and WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY.

THE MAN and his horn are legendary - our nation's audiences have been richly blessed to have heard him.
Website:
http://www.haroldbetters.com
Artist or Fan
artist

Known to jazz aficionados from coast to coast and Canada as "MR. TROMBONE," Mr. Betters can boast of a long list of professional credits. During the early years of his career, he played with a number of New York bands. He and his quartet toured with the RAY CHARLES ENSEMBLE and appeared with comedian DICK GREGORY at New York's legendary Apollo Theater -- a theater which helped to catapult such jazz artists as Ella Fitzgerald to stardom. He has also enjoyed performing with LOUIS ARMSTRONG, AL HIRT, SLIDE HAMPTON, RAMSEY LEWIS, and URBIE GREEN.
Harold and his quartet have been playing at many posh nightspots in major cities. For 15 years, the jazz trombonist was the featured performer at the well-known Pittsburgh nightclub, the ENCORE, making it the "in spot" for jazz lovers. He has performed, as well, at other such exclusive clubs as Pittsburgh's HOLIDAY HOUSE, Shaker Heights' VIRGINIAN, Cleveland's THEATRICAL GRILL and THE CABANA CLUB's Nero's Nook, Palo Alto, California.

A favorite of sports fans, Mr. Betters has entertained at PIRATE and PENGUIN home games. Currently, he has a long-term contract playing at PITTSBURGH STEELER games.

Helping to bridge the generation gap with his music, the performer has thrilled college audiences in several states. Among the institutions of higher learning at which he has appeared are PENN STATE, WEST VIRGINIA and INDIANA UNIVERSITIES.

Mr.Betters has participated in numerous jazz festivals -- including the prestigious KOOL JAZZ FESTIVAL -- performed in a variety of concerts, and given special performances for the late HUBERT HUMPHREY and CARL STOKES.


For Booking info/ CD sells Call Glenn Kelly 724-628-0784


If you have a Photo-image or Video of Harold Betters (with others also) AND would like to add it to this photo collection, please e-mail Image or Video To; mailmandeliver@yahoo.com Title email: HB COLLECTION. Delete Comment

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Harold Betters's Blog

Open Pantry

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 5:11am 0 Comments

The Negro

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 4:00am 0 Comments

Dawn Law

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 2:53am 0 Comments

Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

Posted on March 27, 2009 at 2:27am 0 Comments

Comment Wall (10 comments)

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At 9:02pm on March 19, 2011, David Breyer said…

Hi Mr. Betters,

Years back I dubbed myself the unofficial mayor of Shadyside, with regular office hours at the Encore.  I enjoyed your music there over and over again.  Thanks, Harold!  I learned you did a recent performance in my old home town of Greensburg and that you were much appreciated there.  

At 6:52pm on September 06, 2010, jdlaughead gave Harold Betters a gift
At 6:45pm on September 06, 2010, jdlaughead gave Harold Betters a gift
Gift
Hey! BLOW YOUR HORN!
At 3:53am on August 10, 2009, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
A supreme honor to be your friend here where you are the supreme person! Pittsburgh has a blessing in having you as an exponent of its great heritage. Always love hearing you and graciously you allowed me to sit in a couple times, your sound is awesome! My main man Dan Wasson plays with you first took me to see you back in the 70s when we masqueraded as engineering students at PITT.- kevin hurst
At 5:15am on April 17, 2009, Marshall McDonald said…
Harold Betters, nice looking page! One of the best here. Glad you are well my Pittsburgh friend.
At 3:05pm on March 29, 2009, Kennard Williams said…
Thank you for your response. It's truly an honor...welcome to the network.

Best Wishes,
At 7:13am on March 29, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Big Brother,

Glad you could join us. Now we are getting somewhere. Your page is very well done and there are some nice pictures of you that preceded you on this network. Also thanks for posting your blogs and gigs. Our members are starting to fill up the clubs. Please add me as a friend.
At 3:37am on March 28, 2009, Michele Bensen said…
Welcome to the Pittsburgh Jazz Netwrok site. Times have changed , right? Where was this when we needed it about 40 years ago? Ha Ha. good to see you here Harold.
Peace,
Michele
At 8:35pm on March 27, 2009, DR. LEO CASINO said…
My brother Iam truly honored to be your friend on the Burg Jazz scene. I am going to give you a call when I come to the burg soon.


Y
At 4:50am on March 27, 2009, Harold Betters said…



If you have a Photo-image or Video of Harold Betters (with others also) AND would like to add it to this photo collection, please e-mail Image or Video To; mailmandeliver@yahoo.com Title email: HB COLLECTION.

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