Pain Relief Beyond Belief





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.






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



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Author, composer, arranger, performer & band leader.
I play guitar, electric bass & keyboards.
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Jo Tongo



Born and raised in Douala (Cameroon), West Africa, Jo Tongo is the eldest brother of a large family. From an early age he was influenced by his fathers music who plays the violin and upstraight bass and his grandfather, the Reverand Alfred Tongo Diboundou, who played organ church.

At the age of 13, Jo Tongo was gifted with an acoustic guitar by one of his uncles and through studying guitar books, he taught himself how to play, read and write music and excelled music theory.

At age 15 he joined the high school band as a guitarist and within two years he became the band leader, while in Yaounde, the capital. At the same time, Jo set up his first band in Douala with his young friends, the "Rock'n Chach", mixing up African, Caribbean and American soul music. He composed his own music and his unique sound set him apart from other bands in the region, caughting the attention of radio stations which played his music in Douala and Yaounde.

Not all was smooth sailing for Jo's father was not supportive of his son's desire to become a professional musician and sent him to Paris where he studied pharmacy for a couple of years. While in Paris, he took up classic piano and obtained a degree from the Paris National Superior Academy of Music. A few years later Jo Tongo was determined to pursue his love of music and became a professional musician playing with the best musicians in Paris, the likes of Manu Dibango, Françis Bebey, Joseph Kabassele, Franklyn Bokaka,to name a few.

Jo was living his dream as he was involved in studio recording sessions in studio with African and European artists. Gerard Akueson gave Jo and opportunity to make his first record featuring what we could call "World-music" today.

On his second record, Jo turned to a kind of Afro funk music, very original and exciting, mixing up African and American R&B sounds. Jo was given the battle name of Jojo L’Explosif ( Jojo the Explosive ).

In 1968, after he recorded his second record (Get it the way I like & Non Non Non ), the young artist was invited to a concert in the "Salons Des Ambassadeurs " in the "Champs Elysees " in Paris and prominent African and Caribbean artists were backed by Manu Dibango as they performed before Parisian ambassadors.

Jo's (Jojo) performance earned him a standing ovation and Gisèle Baka, a Caribbean singer and manager invited Jojo to another concert she organized in "Olympia", in Paris, two months later, in commemoration of Doctor Martin Luther KING Jr. death.

The young man acting as a music director and conductor, was arranging beautiful music for other artists as Uta Bella and Manu Dibango. Jo took classic orchestration lessons and arrangement from Vladimir Kodjoukarov, the conductor of the French National Classic Orchestra.( Orchestre National de Paris ).

Jo Tongo's career took a turn as he became the most popular african artist and his fame allowed him to play for African heads of states like Nyassibwe Eyadema of Togo, Yakubu Gowon of Nigeria, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire( Democratic Republic of Congo), Ahmadou Ahidjo of United Republic of Cameroon, Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Jo Tongo formed many connections including with American pianist and singer Memphis Slim, the King of Boogie Woogie and Mike Brant, a singer from Israel who became a legend in France.

In 1976, after performing in Midem, Cannes, Jo Tongo created a new band he called Tumbalo. Patrick, Alex and Chris Francfort (now called The Gibson Brothers) asked Jo if they could become members of his new band. Vicky Edimo also joined Tumbalo and the group recorded 10 songs for Decca, however the record was never released.


This setback did not stop the ambitious and talented artist whose music was featured in " Femme De Sa Vie" a French movie starring reknowned French actress Emmanuelle Beart and his music was also featured in "Never Ever", an American movie with a well-known French actress Sandrine Bonnaire.

Nowadays Jo Tongo added Reggae music to his influences. He backed Ky-Mani Marley, one of Bob Marley's sons, who came to Cannes Festival of Cinema for "One Love", a movie he produced in 2004.

With the help of Claudine De Jesus Costa, Jo Tongo who also studied cinema in Cannes, created Risin’Sun to promote afro music and movies.

His last CD, Jo Tongo (Jojo L’Explosif) Great Hits and the video clips for this album are Risin’ Sun production's and an Aurore Production.



Jo Tongo is now seeking representation here in the United States and brings years of experience as a musician, recording artist and has an international following. He is looking forward to bringing his unique sound into an explosive compilation in collaboration with a U.S. record company.



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Posted on September 18, 2009 at 2:03pm 0 Comments


Reggae Music came out in the end of the years 60's. It a result of different existing musics : ska, rocksteady. But the roots are to be found in carebbean traditionel musics like "Mento" and calypso. We must also consider rythm 'blues (Soul Music) of Afro Americans as a main influence of Reggae..

Of course african music is an important part of it, with thef RASTAFARI movement, also… Continue


Posted on June 30, 2009 at 2:30pm 2 Comments


Michael, it's so hard to believe that I don't want to think one second that you left us alone. I know you can't do that. You just went back to JAH to whom you belong, take a little breath & keep on doing it. If we listen carefully to tha Mystic wind blowing in the air, we can listen & even see you. Stay Blessed & Loved for ever, my dear Brother. From the bottom of my…

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At 12:10am on June 4, 2019, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…


At 3:34pm on May 14, 2012, Marta Graciela Bressi said…

Dear Jo,

Thanks forthe good wishes. Argentina celebrates Mother's Day in October,but I loved your greetings.

Marta :)

At 3:11pm on May 11, 2012, Marta Graciela Bressi said…

Dear Jo Tongo,

Thanks for your comment and vote( ¨Times Square¨)



At 12:01pm on January 31, 2011, tim max said…
hello  friend  , nic  week  ,tim
At 12:46pm on October 29, 2010, Ms. Felecia said…

At 1:10am on October 29, 2010, Ms. Felecia said…

At 4:49pm on September 26, 2010, Marta Graciela Bressi said…
Dear Jo Tongo,

Thanks for your works and the picture.

Marta :)
At 3:22am on April 17, 2010, Marta Graciela Bressi gave JO TONGO a gift
At 3:22am on April 17, 2010, Marta Graciela Bressi said…
Dear Jo Tongo;

Thanks for your gift is Wonderful...!!!


At 1:26am on April 16, 2010, Marta Graciela Bressi said…
Dear Jo Tongo,

Thanks for your message.





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