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



       In Her Own Words
John Leven
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Pittsburgh Connection
Born at Magee Women's Hospital during one of Ike's terms in office.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Roger Humphries, Joe Negri, Rodney McCoy, Amhad Jamal, Dakota Staton, Art Blakey, Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown, Kenny Clarke, the Turrentines, Mary Lou Williams, Gene Ludwig to name just a few.
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I left Pittsburgh in 1986, what is left? Both Harper's locations contained great memories as did the Crawford Grill and The Balcony before I left, there was a place in Sq. Hill for a while that featured jazz but I cannot remember the name nor places I went to on the South Side -
About Me:
I spent more than twenty years in commercial radio in Pittsburgh, Orlando and Baltimore/Washington, DC.. I now shoot news and corporate video in Washington, DC and when it is possible I do voiceovers..

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At 1:21am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 11:21am on April 1, 2008, John Leven said…
I will share this with a few people whom I know will like it too, fellow former-Pittsburghers just like me..
At 11:13am on April 1, 2008, John Leven said…
Thanks, this is a very fine forum and I am looking very forward to making new friends and finding old ones -

I'll be interested in hearing you play when you are in the DC area and when I am in Pittsburgh!
At 7:02am on April 1, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Thanks for joining us and reconnecting to your Pittsburgh roots. You are always at home here.
At 9:53pm on March 31, 2008, Frank B. Greenlee said…
Welcome home "Chip".......

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