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.
Pittsburgh musician! Born, and raised in Pittsburgh!!!
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Roger Humphries,Dwayne Dolphin, Keith Stebler,Mark Strickland,Flora Wilson,Michele Bensen,Nelson Harrison,Chuck Austin,Chris Hemingway,Lou Stellute,Fletcher Tomlin,Leonard Johnson,Donna Davis,Horace Turner,Max Leake,Tom Wendt,Kenny Blake,Al Dowe,Harold Betters, and too many more to name here!
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Manchester Craftsman's Guild
I started playing piano at the age of seven. This gave me my first actual musical experience with an instrument. It didn't work out, however, due to the fact that we did not have a piano, and the lessons after a while became too difficult. At the age of 12, I started playing brass instruments in school. I played trumpet, french horn, trrombone, baritone horn, and tuba. It was the tuba that brought everything together for me, and then made playing the other instruments possible! Around this same time I had gotten interested in song writing. This interest resulted in me getting a guitar after being infuenced by Tommy DeVito of The Four Seasons. My music teacher, Joe Kennedy, loaned me an album by a guitarist who I had never heard of, named Wes Montgomery! That album was called Going Out Of My Head, and it changed the direction of my whole life!!! In high school I totally abandoned my academic aspirations, and made up my mind to pursue a career in music. I've been involved in music almost exclusively from then to now. I did take time out to get a diploma in Applied Business Programming, in the computer field in 1979. My pursuit of music has taken me to venues, andrecording studios all over the world. I've had the chance to meet, and work with many interesting, and talented people. Many of these include my idols. Richard "Groove" Holmes, George Benson, Dionne Warwick, Dakota Staton, Joe Williams, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson are just a few. Currently I'm freelancing, and doing music production.
He has been a Travelin Musician for a number of years and I hardy ever can catch up with him as he is Playin a lot at home and not out an about when here.. Gigs not doin to much theses days as Iam remodelin my House. Played Tenor with the Gene Krupa Show in Ft Meyers last Monday with Drummer Arthur Von Blomberg. This week Last Flight Out Big Band Leader Carlos Pinera, Tenor and we have Gigs later in the month. Then Mike Norris Buddy Rich Tribute Band on Thursday Tenor.
My Dearest Walt: Thank you so much for sending me the links! I'm trying to type this as fast as I can, this is the third time my computer has crashed! (Smile).
Please let Michelle, Flo, Nelson, Tim, Eric, Nathan and all of the other fantastic jazz musicians in Pittsburgh how grateful I am that they did his Memorial beautiful! And his family, too!
I will dedicate my performance at the historic and beautiful "Lenox Lounge" to him on Saturday, May 14, 2011! He nicknamed me "Sunshine," so there WILL BE sunshine in the Club! I will miss his laughter, our 10 hour long distance telephone calls, his musicianship! He kept ALL my postcards, letters, etc. from 1978! I sent him a Christmas card this Christmas! I simply loved him. Period and will miss him, miss him!
Here's my contact information:
Ms. Rochelle Thompson
310 West 148th Street
New York, NY `10039 (212) 234-0932, cell (646) 620-1673
Unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. DeJarunett. But, if I could receive or be told how to find his music, it would be my pleasure to present, Mr. DeJarunett on www.thejazzintersection.org, Podcast.
Luther, Thanks for all of the times that you welcomed me to come and play wherever you were, when I would come home to visit.. made me feel like I'd never moved away... I'll miss you Bro, and especially when I come to Pittsburgh. Even though I'll miss you, I know that you'll always be with me..
Luther, Sence we meet some fourty years ago. I have always enjoyed and admired the things that you have contributed to the music community, especially to the Guitar community that i am proud to be a part of, thanks to you.You are an icon in the guitar industry, and thanks to you, I wear the guitar as a badge of honor.you have brought pride, professionalism,honor, and fun to the guitar profession, in short. " TOU MAKE ME PROUD TO BE CALLED A GUITAR PLAYER" Peace to Ronny Wingfield