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.
Janice Coppola, clarinet, has been performing as a klezmer, classical and jazz musician in the Pittsburgh area for the last twelve years. She co-founded Eastern Watershed in 2000 with Lynette Garlan, a band that extends into a larger group playing Balkan and other Eastern European music. Eastern Watershed’s first CD with the quintet is entitled “Reflections.” See easternwatershed.org and myspace.com/easternwatershed.
Janice holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she was the winner of that University’s Concerto Competition, performing Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto under the direction of Louis Lane. While still a student of Leon Russianoff, Janice was a Prizewinner in the Abraham and Phyllis Katz Young Artist’s Competition in Woodmere, New York. In 1996, Janice won the Grand Prize in Marvin Hamlisch’s “Search for a Star” competition, where she performed the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops on four consecutive nights. Janice repeated the Shaw Clarinet Concerto as guest soloist with the Edgewood Symphony, where she has also performed the well-known Monti’s Czardas. In April of 2005, Janice appeared as a series soloist with the River City Brass Band, performing the music of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. Traveling out to New Jersey in the spring of 2007, Janice soloed with the Baroque Orchestra of Northern New Jersey as a klezmer musician.
As a classical musician, Janice has performed as a recitalist in Ohio, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Janice has played principal clarinet with the Altoona Symphony on several occasions. A local composer, Ron Schulz, a student of David Stock wrote a piece for solo clarinet, Triptych, for her, which she performed at Duquesne University see Utube “sacradictus” or Janice Coppola.
She has recorded four CD’s, two with the Renaissance City Winds (Nancy Galbraith, Four Chamber Works, Elan Recordings and German Romantic Wind Music, Centaur Label), receiving rave reviews for her performance http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2006/sept06/German_w.... The other two CD’s are with Anne Feeney, If I Can’t Dance and Dump The Bosses Off Your Back.
Janice was a co-founder and member of The Hot Matzohs from 1997 until 2007, a Pittsburgh-based klezmer group that was invited to perform at Heinz Hall on several occasions, and which has been featured on radio and television broadcasts.
When Janice is not performing with Eastern Watershed at one of Pittsburgh’s many regional festival, concerts and private events, she enjoys arranging and creating educational programs for Odyssey, Eastern Watershed’s “sister” ensemble, to perform at area schools. Two of her programs are included in the Roster with Gateway to the Arts: “Bube Tells A Tale” with Barbara Russell telling an Eastern European folk tale while Janice accompanies her; and “City of Steel – An American Musical Melting Pot,” a program that chronologically combines a game with clues and music to help students learn about the immigrants who came to Pittsburgh region during the time of the steel mills.
Janice’s most recent project is the new Concert Series at the 3rd Street Art Gallery in Carnegie, PA.
Oh my ... Janice, it is so good to hear from you. I am doing okay.. hope all is well with you. Things are going slow but whenever that happens - I'm uplifted - by good people such as you.. you are dynamic .. and by remembering me - you've touched my heart and put a smile on my face.
I am so glad you came on board. As you can see there are many useful options here that you will find no where else. You can visit Kara's page and add her as a friend. Thank you for joining and don't forget to add me as a friend also.
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