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THE STRONG CARD

PITTSBURGH JAZZ

Roger Humphries

 

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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David H Singer left a comment for Hill Jordan
"Hello Hill, I just joined this site the the other day.  Wow, a true blast from the past for me.  Currently I live in Phoenix, AZ.  Having retired from public school administration this past July, I now have time to catch up…"
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At 4:14pm on November 8, 2012, David H Singer said…

Hello Hill,

I just joined this site the the other day.  Wow, a true blast from the past for me.  Currently I live in Phoenix, AZ.  Having retired from public school administration this past July, I now have time to catch up on my music as well as reconnect with old friends and former students.  While the list of former students includes folks from Pittsburgh and Phoenix (been here nine years), I try to keep the Pittsburgh crew on the front burner of my mind.  Anyway, Mike Staresinic, mentioned in Facebook that he attended one of your performances and you referred to knowing me (I believe I was "tagged" in Facebook speak or whatever).  So, I started to research your name and ended up joining this wonderful site.  Please help me fire my brain up, and let me know when you were a student at Peabody, and how many years you were in the the music program there. While this old tree might be in Arizona, my roots will always be in Pittsburgh.  

Best wishes.

David Singer

At 5:06am on December 21, 2011, Adam Johnston & James Street said…

Hill,

My name is Adam Johnston, my partner Lisa and myself have reopened the old James Street Tavern.  I was talking with Bob Gabig and he suggested that I get a hold of you.  I would love to talk to you about the possibility of you playing here!  get in touch with me when you can!.. I am looking forward to meeting you!

At 4:09am on June 1, 2010, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Nice playing with you at PD's,I'm trying to hear all the horn men in Pittsburgh! Not too many brass players where I am at . Couple of good trumpets, not enough trombones ,most trumpet players I grew up with do not play anymore. Whatever they did play did not keep them into music. No trombones played outside the school bands and I only played with one( as an adult) who did not get into jazz and does not play much.
At 3:26am on March 17, 2009, Patricia Webb said…
Hey there, Hill,
this is Patty Webb, a fellow-Tazza D'Oro-faithful & former Kentucky Ave School mom. I want to get to talk with you! My email is phw120@psu.edu -- let me know how you are ... (I've lost most of my Pgh contact info!).
So great to see you've got this page up!
patty
At 7:37pm on February 25, 2009, Delim Jamar said…
Hello Hill welcome aboard!
At 12:05am on February 23, 2009, tim max said…
HELLO !!!!!!!!!!!!
At 5:25am on February 20, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Hill,

I'm glad to count you among the first 1000 members. Please help us get to 2000 before year-end. Your active participation, comments and artistic expressions are welcome here and will be experienced around the world. Please help us show the world what Pittsburgh is all about.

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