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 moved to Pittsburgh in 1974 from New York and decided to stay. I've played bass since I was 16. Mostly blues, funk, some R&B and rock.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
For jazz - Kenny Blake
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
I'm the bass player for Bobby Hawkins & The Blues Train as well as The RumpShakers project. I also sit in with different bands and musicians for gigs and open stages including Dave Yoho's YinZide Out shows.
I have played bass as an amatur and professionally for 30 some odd years in New York and Pennsylvania. A wonderful guitarist now living in Ireland, Rick Harris, is responsible for getting me into playing the bass. So it is his fault.
I play blues, funk and R&B, also, recently rediscovered my love of 60s & 70s blues rock power trios, Cream, Johnny Winters, Mountain, Rory Gallagher, James Gang, Grand Funk, Robin Trower, probably more that I forgot...) The Golden Age of Blues Rock if you will.
Hey Keith Gamble! Thanks for the blues show last night; Ms. B and I had a friggin blast...will keep you informed about adding your rocking bass to Barbara's band. Hopefully sooner than later, as we're looking to get her on stage asap. -jackie day
I may have heard you play. Jazz and blues are really the same music but the journalists have made it seem otherwise. I play with the Blues Orphans and have my own blues band called "Blue to the Bone." I may consider changing it to "Blew to the Bone." :-) I'm sure you have many friends here already and will make many more and pick up some new fans in the process.
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