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
Victor Ruiz
  • Male
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Mexico
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Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Ken Karsh, Salsamba, Kenia Ashby, Lilly Abreu, Azucar, Joe Negri, Layo Puentes, Jeff Mangone, Paul Eiss, Indira Corales, Erick Susoff, Cha Sague, Efrain Amaya, Mike Tomaro, David Stock, Eloy Nepo, Emily Pinkerton, Mark Kock, Bill Purse, Antonio Lordi, Luke Savage, and many more...
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
WDUQ 90.5 FM Pittsburgh
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Gulliftie's, Backstage, Bossa Nova...
About Me:
Born in Mexico City, he began his musical studies in 1977 at the Escuela Superior de Música del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. The following year he entered the National Conservatory of Music, studying classical guitar for six years with the internationally-acclaimed Professor Guillermo
Flores Méndez.
In 1984 he entered the Cardenal Miranda Institute of Liturgical Music and Arts, where he continued his study of classical guitar with professor Flores Méndez

He has been involved in a variety of musical disciplines, including music for theater, cinema and dance. In 1981 he recorded his first album, independently produced, with the group Flüght, voted best of the year by a panel of music critics.
It was reedited and reissued at the end of 1999. He performed with Flüght at the XIII Festival Internacional Cervantino and The Jazz Festival in Guanajuato, Mexico, in addition to other concerts at a variety of theaters and universities in Mexico.

A self-taught electric bassist, he played the bass with the Mexican/Salvadorian group Yolocamba I Ta, from 1987 to 1992. The group performed in numerous international festivals, among them the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, the WOMAD Festival in Toronto, the Glasgow Mayfest Festival, the Víctor Jara Festival in Amsterdam, and the Boulder Folk and Bluegrass Festival, in addition to giving concerts in a wide variety of venues, including the Smithsonian Institution. Also with Yolocamba I Ta, he recorded two compact discs, Cara o Cruz (Flying Fish Records, USA, 1989) and Canciones para la Nueva Vida (CEBES, Nicaragua, 1990), as well as participating in the film "Romero" starring Raúl Julia (Paulist Pictures, USA, 1988). Since 1992, he has developed his abilities as an arranger and producer, while continuing a 21 year career as a music teacher.
From 1996 to 1998 he was musical director, arranger, and producer of the group Ensamble Musical of the Universidad Tecnológica de México, for which he produced various concerts and three compact discs. In 1998 he resumed his formal musical studies at the Cardenal Miranda Institute of Liturgical Music and Arts, with course work in musicology, art history, guitar and composition, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Musicology in June of 2003.

Since 2000 he has been living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA), where he has continued studying composition at Duquesne University and jazz guitar with Ken Karsh. He has been musical coordinator of the Latin American Cultural Union (LACU) since 2001 and has performed with various local groups, playing tango, jazz, classical and folkloric music. Currently he plays guitar in addition to arranging and composing for the Latin jazz band Puro Queso Jazz Quartet. I moved to Germany in the Summer of 2014. But I still love Pittsburgh and I am in touch with my Yinz Friends.
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At 1:45am on February 27, 2009, Michele Bensen said…
Hello Victor,
Nic eto see you here. I've thought of you and your family so many times and wondered how things were going. Give me love to Michele. I'm sure she knows the Lapiduss family is coming to town next week. Maybe I'll see you then.
The best of luck,
At 5:27pm on February 16, 2009, Candid Jazz and Conversations said…
Thanks Victor for reaching out!

At 6:47am on February 11, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Hey Victor,

We are so happy you are on board. I see you know what to do with your page so I have featured you as a new member. Thank you for sharing your tremendous background and gifts with us.



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