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
Phat Man Dee
  • Female
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • United States
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Profile Information

Favorite website
Pittsburgh Connection
I live here.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Gerald "Shotgun" Haymon, Chizmo Charles, Gene Ludwig, Sandy Staley, Colter Harper, Tony DePaolis, Mike Murray, Kenny Peagler, Nelson Harrison, James Johnson III, Dave Throckmorton, Ben Opie, Paul Cosentino, Reggie Watkins, Gene Stovall, Sonji, Christiane D, John Purse, Sam Pace, Darryl Fleming, BC, Tommy Amoeba, Zafira Bellydance Company, Ishtar, Nick Ragheb
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Ava Lounge
About Me:
Phat Man Dee has a voice and a stage presence that rings clear as a bell. Her soulful delivery and heart ripping phrasing make the story of the song come through her body like a mountain rising to meet the sea. She is as comfortable floating in the air singing to the swells as she is through a megaphone in the Mermaid Parade or the Ides of March March.

She has toured and appeared with The Madagascar Institute of Brooklyn, NY, Candye Kane, the Goddess Perlman's Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad, the Fat Bottomed Girls Burlesque Review, Chicken John's Circus Ridiculous, Wolgemut, Jazz Mandolin Project, the Bindlestiff Family Roadshow, The Bull Seal! Collective, SEEMEN, the Flaming Lotus Girls and Heavy Pedal Cyclecide.

Though Phat Man Dee was somewhat recently nominated "One to Watch" in the pop music category of Pittsburgh Magazine's Harry Schwalb Awards, Mandy L. Kivowitz was born in 1975 to schoolteacher and a railroad man in Youngstown, OH. She studied music, classical cello and voice, theatre and dance all through childhood and into her brief college career at Allegheny College in Meadeville, PA. She left college to join the circus as Mistah Sistah Phat Man Dee , a half man half woman vaudeville act singing love songs to herself , eating glass, tap dancing, and playing cello while traveling with several variety acts cross country. Since then she has been blessed to work with some of the finest players Pittsburgh's rich musical community has to offer. Working to create an alternate reality for her audience utilizing her friends, be they musicians, poets, belly dancers, fire eaters, painters or circus geeks, Phat Man Dee puts on a show in which the visual texture is as important as the quality and intensity of the music.

Televsion and broadcast appearances include FUSE TV, KDKA Morning Show, WTAE Evening News, CSPAN, Judge Joe Brown (Fox), On Q (WQED), Lynn Cullen's Talk Show (WPTT).

She has appeared at the Improv as an opener for Caroline Rhea (NBC), Joe's Pub (NYC), Cabaret @ Theater Square, Exotic Erotic Ball (SF, CA), NYC Burlesque Fest, the Derby (LA, CA) , Rosemary's Billygoat's Odditoriom (LA, CA)the Andy Warhol Museum and the Great American Music Hall. Her best singing was performed at the Point Arena Lighthouse, and she ever longs for a return. She does love a parade, and to date, parades love her.

One evening will burn forever in the mind of Phat Man Dee, and that was her appearance with the Pittsburgh Opera wherein she sang an entire set of french cabaret love songs at the Benedum Center swinging aloft from a floral swing. (Though the night Circus Rediculous almost burned down the camp site at the Lafayette, Lousiana Festivale Internationale, in a misguided and unfortunate attempt to play flaming soccer ball with the misprinted tour shirts and the Veg-O-Matic of the Apocalypse burns nearly as bright.)

She recently celebrated her wedding anniversary with Tommy Amoeba, her husband of 5 years. They were wed on a pink elephant in Pittsburgh, PA's historic South Side on July 11. 2002.

The most frighteneing thing she ever did in her whole life was sing Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater on July 18, 2008. That was terrifying. Like walking through fire....
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Phat Man Dee's Blog

Friends! I hope this message meets you well!! So the world sometimes seems to be off its nut a bit more than usual lately.... and so to not get too crazy myself I'm just staying super busy. I'm a voi…

Posted on September 27, 2017 at 6:45pm 0 Comments

Friends! I hope this message meets you well!! So the world sometimes seems to be off its nut a bit more than usual lately.... and so to not get too crazy myself I'm just staying super busy. I'm a voice teacher now, I teach youth voice lessons at Afro American Music Institute and We Rock Workshop. I'm performing with my jazz band The Cultural District and also with The Lemington Gospel Chorale. I have been spending a bulk of my time working super hard on this project I've been building with…


And yet we persist! ART! MUSIC! LOVE!

Posted on May 6, 2017 at 6:48am 0 Comments

My favorite Smoky Robinson and the Miracles song is "I Gotta Dance to Keep From Crying" and I think it's appropriate for the state of the world.... I am going to dance harder, sing louder, play more music and harmonize with more intensity than ever before. I am going to keep sharing my knowledge with the next generation…


Baby Dee is Coming to Town!!!

Posted on February 24, 2017 at 3:47am 0 Comments

Friends! Please accept my apologies for the recent radio silence.... I will work on doing better, especially in these distressingly troubling times, at maintaining communication. The Book of Face and the Tweeter and the 'Gram are excellent tools for…


Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 5:02pm on April 13, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Thanks for the feedback and for being an active member. We are supposed to be leaders in the jazz community as were our predecessors. Please help us recruit new members. We lose an occasional few along the way but we are growing steadily and gaining respect in all corners of the globe.
At 5:34pm on April 12, 2009, Kent Bey said…
Greetings... I am establishing a live Jazz Night on a Wednesday between 7pm to 10pm at a very nice, clean, and classy venue in the East Liberty area. The evening will feature local Pittsburgh musicians like Tony Campbell and many others performing for a very appreciative audience of jazz lovers.

I am a Pittsburgh native and local youth arts advocate attempting to expose young up and coming artists to the heart and soul of pure Pittsburgh music culture and traditions as they meet and learn from some of the local Music Masters. If you are interested in hosting a Wednesday night once a month or every other month I would be humbled and honored to make this happen.


Kent Bey

At 4:51am on March 28, 2009, Aaron Jackendoff said…
I donno, was that at the backstage bar?
At 12:13am on December 7, 2008, Gypsy Cafe said…
Hey Lady--Don Aliquo's in tonight and I just heard Don Jr. will be with him. Stop by if you're in the hood!
At 4:57am on August 10, 2008, SANDY STALEY said…
At 10:17pm on July 29, 2008, Elizabeth "Betty" Asche Douglas said…
Your imagination seems to know no bounds, and I love it! What courage-- and you have the talent to justify it all-- that's the amazing part. Keep on keepin' on.
At 5:34pm on July 27, 2008, Janelle Burdell said…
Hey Hey! Been hearing bout you for years!!!! Glad I finally bumped into you~(Thanks Nelson!!!) Let's sip together something refreshing when I return to the Burgh in August. RIght now I am teaching Teen Girl ROck and ROll Camps in Western MASS-with legendary ROckrGrrlS! VEry fun! Look forward to meeting you! ENjoy, -janelle
At 3:19am on July 21, 2008, George Heid said…
Hey hey... they had the files.... great news and for the future, I will have the hedgehog's voice in top form. Be well and thank you for the most sweet email.
At 3:06am on July 21, 2008, Kevin Amos said…
Hi Man Dee! Long time no hear from. Welcome
At 8:21pm on July 19, 2008, J. Malls said…
Wassup ManDee? Glad that you joined the jazz network! Hope you can stop by AVA on Monday!! See ya soon. -J



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