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.
I met my wife to be in 1988 in Philadelphia, Pa. She's from the Hill and I lived in Brooklyn. I moved here in 2005. We formed Kente Arts Alliance in 2006 and have been presenting the Jazz Legacy Series - the Pittsburgh Connection since May '07. Thus far we've done tibutes to Mary Lou Williams with Geri Allen and the Mary Lou Williams Collective; Art Blakey with Winard Harper Sextet.
On Feb.23,2008 we will pay tribute to a living legend in the person of Roger Humphries and the Rh Factor, on April 19, 2008 it's a tribute to Roy "Little Jazz" Eldridge featuring the Steve Turre Quintet. All events at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.
Look for more inthe future.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, Art Blakey
Ahmed Jamal, Roger Humphries and Steve Nelson.
Born in Colon, Rep. of Panama, came to Brooklyn, NY in 1956. Was introduced to this music as a child listening to the armed forces radio station. My mom's favorites were Billy Eckstine and Nat "King" Cole.
I've been producing concerts since HS, 1960. I love to see the people come together and enjoy a GOOD TIME.
Comment Wall (6 comments)
You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!
Hello i am planning a tribute night to the East venue in Brooklyn - in Manchester U.K featuring recorded music by Gary Bartz, Andy Bey, Pharoah Sanders and others and we would like to feature photgraphs, posters and visuals from the venue. I wondered if you could help me collate some images / illustrations for use on the night of the gig. I saw you had contributed some visuals for the Wax Poetics magazine. Any jpegs of flyers posters or photographs would be dope. Thanks for your time. firstname.lastname@example.org
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 details...click on the banner below to be a guest...JB
Hi, my name is Ron Kearns and Nelson suggested I contact you about the possibility of performing in Pittsburgh. One of my artist, Janine Gilbert Carter is from Pittsburgh and we'd like to come there together or seperately to perform.