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.
Philadelphia-born, self-taught musician Nick Mundy started his musical odyssey at the young age of 17 as lead singer and guitarist for London Records’ family group, "The Beck Family." Nick continued his journey with another Philadelphia family group, "Sister Sledge," as their Musical Director and Guitarist. He performed on their album titled “My Guy.”
Nick left the East Coast for Los Angeles to pursue his artistry. Armed with only one hundred dollars and 14 songs, he promptly landed himself a publishing deal with MCA Publishing and Warner Chapell Music. It wasn’t much time before Nick was signed to Warner Brothers by Benny Medina. He released his first solo album in 1985 titled, “Your Kind of Guy.”
Nick is a Grammy Nominated and Platinum Selling songwriter and Producer. He has co-written and produced songs such as “Talk to Me” for Chico DeBarge; “Trade Him In” with Janice Ian; “Working Wonders with Jody Mowatt; “What Comes Naturally” for Sheena Easton; “This Song” for Jeffrey Osborne; “Roll The Dice” for Color Me Badd; “Personality” for Kashif, Gina Go Go Gomez, Alexander O’Neal and John Pagano; “Let’s Get To It” for Wild Orchid and Fergie; “All About You Boy” for Eric Benet; “Christmas Mom” for LaToya Jackson with Cerrone; “Oops, Oh, No!” for Phil Perry; “Who You Love” for Carl Thomas Motion and Tony Terry; and “Try My Love” for Jeremy Jordan… just to name a few.
Naturally, it was only a matter of time before Nick returned to doing exactly what he was meant to do – crafting song after heartfelt song for himself for his self-released CD titled “Just Songs.” In this album he finally is able to release himself from the shackles of having to write an album of cuts in just one style or another. With this CD, Nick’s fans can truly appreciate his multi-faceted, genre-crossing artistry.
Nick is currently performing around the Los Angeles area. He has had solo shows at Genghis Cohen, Room 5 Lounge, Renaissance Hotel Lobby Lounge, Blue Café, The Joint and Charlene's Urban Tapas & Wine. He has opened for Howard Hewitt at The Vibrato Grill Jazz…Etc.
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