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.
My first home was in the Hill District with A Leo Weil Elementary School, Herron Hill Jr. School, Northview Heights, with Perry High, and Allegheny Community College.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Tony Campbell, Rodger Humphries, Dr, Buster Austin, Luther DeJarnett, Stanley Parham, Rodger Barbour, Chuck.Austin, Nelson Harrison, Kenny Black, Raynard Ford, Jay Willis,Gregg Humphries, HoraceTurner, Bunker Jones, Mr. Leach, Nathan Davis, Howie Alexander, Shawn Jones, George Gist .Mr.Stubbs, Derrick Fench. Chuck Austin,Olga Watkins,Sandie Staley, Don Allico Sr. Bobby Jones Jr.Squirrel Mosley Richard Mosley ,Rickey English. Spencer Bey, Ron Bey . Sipeo, Judge Watson .Roland Draft.Geranimo, Mark Stricland,Benny Freeman and Sons, Harold Young,Tim Jenkins, Carl Black, Ean Green Bill Banks, Alan smart, Bob Boulden Sandy Dowe ,Shotgun, Ed Skirtich, John Stubbs,Wayne Walker etc.
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
WDUQ,BET Jazz, Ovation, WQED,
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Ali's Theatre in the Strip 18th and Penn Ave. Crawford Grille, Too Sweet, Jazz Workshop, Heinz Field, PNC Park,
I"m a native Pittsburgh Brother who plays flute. I"m a proud father of Willie Jr. and Marcella Parham. I"m a self-taught flute player of 60 years old. I'm an all-city hoopster from Perry High. I study some music and played ball at ACC northsid lived in the Hill District for 13 years. My musical background was with The Family of Eve.George Washington Carver Marching Band, Homewood Jazz workshop, Jazz Company, and Ali's Street Jazz Show in the Strip. I love jazz music. I dig the jazz scene. I'm thursty for more knowledge of jazz and performance. I'm from a family of 11 and extended family and friends. etc.
Hey Willie! Yes it's me. Bill Howard,with the infamous GWC Band. How about those days(smile)!! It's been a long time but I remember how great you sounded on that flute, hope you are still playing. We had some great times. So many of the Band Members have passed on. We'll have to get together some time, just to go through the roster. I've been busy wood-shedding on my Vibes and just staying into the music,(jazz of course). I still love Bass, and practice often,not enough,but still learning. Are you playing with any one or just jamming? Tell me What's Up! Here's wishing you the best, and a good Shout Out to the Good Times and the Music. Sweet William
It was great seeing you toot your flute at the B-PEP jam last night. You sounded great. Glad to have you back on the scene. The names you listed brought back many memories and I hope you have some pictures and commentary to share with us all. I well remember the beginnings of the Family of Eve. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for joining. Please add me as a friend and get involved in the various activities here. You can also start some of your own.
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