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
Leslie Purcell Upchurch
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    Easy Living
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Leslie Purcell Upchurch's Page

Profile Information

Pittsburgh Connection
A native Pittsburgher - from the infamous Purcell family!
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Rick Purcell and Shari Richards
About Me:
I am a pianist and teacher. I live in Hudson County NJ and look at the skyline of Manhattan from my apartment - great view. I am a Dalcroze Eurhythmics teacher and I teach in Pittsburgh at CMU in the summers. During the academic year I teach piano and Dalcroze in Manhattan and in NJ and I have an improv duo - Duo Fortuna. I am a classical pianist and I improvise in many genres. I am a budding jazz artist - in my blood, of course.
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Leslie Purcell Upchurch's Blog

Darden Purcell's CD Easy Living

Posted on December 30, 2009 at 4:27pm 0 Comments

Pittsburgh jazz Network member and Randy Purcell's daughter-in- law - Darden Purcell, just released the CD Easy Living. She is a jazz vocalist working on her doctorate in Illinois. The CD is great! She is a wonderful singer and Shawn did the arrangements and played guitar on the CD. Darden has had a rating in the top 100 on CD Baby and it just placed #14 in the Illinois Roots Radio Airplay Charts! Check it out on CD Baby and buy it there if possible since she has been hitting the ratings… Continue

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At 7:55am on December 7, 2013, Leslie Purcell Upchurch said…
Jack Purcell died on Friday, December 6th, in the evening. He was in hospice care. His funeral arrangements will be in the newspaper with details for viewing hours at Slater Funeral Home on Greentree Road and memorial service at Southminster Presbyterian Church on Washington Road in Mt Lebanon.
At 7:17pm on December 31, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison gave Leslie Purcell Upchurch a gift
At 2:39am on May 27, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Would you please post this radio show on your events page? Then I'll send it out to the entire membership.
At 7:56pm on May 17, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Leslie,

Thank you so much for joining and giving us the sad news of Randy's passing right away. We will miss him very much and we promise to keep his memory alive on this network as long as we are here. As a member you can post photos and receive comments to convey to the family as they come in from around the world. Please also post the funeral details as soon as they are available so we can help get the word out.

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