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 was born in New Kensington, PA and grew up in Cranberry Township, PA. GO STEELERS!!
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
90.5 WDUQ, 88.3 WBGO, YouTube
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
The Balcony, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Little E's
New York trombonist Michael Boscarino is a native of Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. He began his musical studies at age 7 on the piano. At age 11, he began playing the trombone on the advice of his grandfather and hasn’t looked back since. Michael holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Youngstown State University and a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music. His trombone teachers include; Robert Matchett Jr., Robert Matchett III, Michael Crist, Paul McKee, and Steve Turre.
While attending Youngstown State University, Michael was active on the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Youngstown freelance scenes and gained invaluable performance experience. His performance credits in these areas include; The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Three Rivers Entertainment, Redline, The Balcony Big Band, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Ernie Krivda and the Fat Tuesday Big Band, Sabor Latino, Azucar, and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.
In 2002, Michael spent the summer playing lead trombone in the Disneyland All-American College Band and was honored to perform as a featured soloist with the Tom Kubis Big Band at a concert in Huntington Beach, California. During the summer of 2003, Michael returned to California and attended the Henry Mancini Institute at UCLA on a full scholarship.
Michael has been a part of the New York City music scene since August of 2004. He enjoys a diverse freelance career and he performs regularly with a wide variety of artists including; Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band, Bobby Sanabria Big Band, Gary Morgan & PanAmericana!, Clem DeRosa & the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra, Kyle Saulnier and the Awakening Orchestra, Jamie Begian Big Band, Sherisse Rogers' Project Uprising, The Rhythm Shop, and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, while doing various types of recording and jingle work as well. His trombone work can be heard on commercials for Commit NiQuitin Minis, Sears, and Ragu and on several albums as a sideman (see discography below). In addition, Boscarino has subbed in the Broadway pits of South Pacific and In The Heights. In New York, Michael has performed at such venues as; Birdland, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Jazz Gallery, Carnegie Hall, The Rainbow Room, Apollo Theater, Zinc Bar, Baha'i Center, Brooklyn Lyceum, Iridium Jazz Club, Feinstein's, and Manhattan Center.
Michael is active as a composer/arranger and as a teacher/clinician. His compositions and arrangements have been performed and/or recorded by ensembles nationwide. As a teacher/clinician, Michael has taught privately and has served on faculty for several jazz camps and workshops throughout the northeastern United States, including the Jazz Connections Summer Workshop at Montclair State University.
Throughout his musical career and studies, Michael has had the great fortune of performing with such renowned artists as; Frankie Valli, Christian McBride, Peter Erskine, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Newman, Bob Mintzer, James Moody, Gunther Schuller, Tom Kubis, Wayne Bergeron, Sal Lozano, Rick Baptist, Vince Mendoza, Dave Holland Quintet, Vinnie Colaiuta, Will Lee, Conrad Herwig, John Allred, Michel Legrand, Sonny Fortune, Jimmy Heath, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Dave Liebman, Candido Camero, and Buddy Morrow.
Most recently, as of June 2010, Michael has joined the newly-formed Max Weinberg Big Band as lead trombonist.
Discography (as a sideman):
American Jazz Repertory Orchestra Salutes The Big Bands (DVD)
American Jazz Repertory Orchestra
American Jazz Venues
Timatha Kasten & Her TKO Orchestra