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.
MitchSoul (real name Christopher Mitchell) was born in Brooklyn, NY and resides here all of his life. His passion for music started from when he was 11 years old, he wanted to be involved in playing piano or any instrument, but his parents could not afford lessons. At 17, he sang in The Refuge Church Of God Choir, the very same church he grew up in as a child, at that very same age he gave his life to Jesus as his saviour & Lord. He learned to play by ear as he grew older, from there on he progressed to venture out on his own to learn every chord and even accidentals while playing for Christian Heritage Church band who called themselves "Frontline", it was a six member sextet which later had a female trio added to the group, it disbanded about 1995. It was also where he joined the Christian Heritage Church Choir and sang for the first time, he was with the choir until 1996. MitchSoul started to compose, write & record in 2003 after a 7 year hiatus. He established Soul M Poetrywerks in 2000, and Soul M ArtWerks in 2003 which consists of Poetry and Photography which he had learned from his days at Kingsborough Community College. On September 29th 2005, Soul M Entertainment is born, It innovates in the genres of Gospel, Smooth Jazz, Soul & Urban R n' B.
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