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.
All the Artists that are in the profession for entertaining are my favorites and well deserving of all credits giving. I salute them of the Arts
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Roger HumphriesRoger Humphries: Bio
Roger was three year old when his family first discovered his early talent at playing drums.
When Roger was 4 1/2 year old he sat in with the Tab Smith Big
Band. His Uncle Frank Humphries was working with the Tab Smith band along with Savannah Churchill at the time.
He began playing professionally at the age of fourteen. He led his own group at Carnegie Music Hall when just sixteen. "I've had a love for music as long as I can remember. He was encouraged by his older brothers Lawrence Jr. and Norman who were musicians at that time. Additionally, Roger's son Roger Jr. and Norman's son Gregory have followed in their footsteps as professional drummers.
In August of 1962 began Roger's first major road job. He joined Stanley Turrentine (also from Pittsburgh) and Shirley Scott at the Hurricane in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.
In 1964 Roger went to New York to join the Horace Silver Quintet. While with Silver, he toured Europe twice and appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival, There, he was interviewed by renowned jazz writer, Leonard Feather. A summary of that interview is included in the Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Sixties
Roger recorded three albums while working with Horace Silver.
They were "Song For My Father", "Cape Verderan Blues" and "Jody Grind". The
Song For My Father album is one of the most legendary album's of our time, still being played by most jazz radio station as a popular hit. His tenure with the great Horace Silver lasted a little over three years from 1964 through 1967. During those three albums recordings he played with such giants as, Joe Henderson, James Spalding, Tyrone Washington saxophone, Teddy Smith, Larry Ridley bass, Woody Shaw, Carmell Jones trumpeters and J.J. Johnson trombone.
In 1965 Roger recorded with the great trumpeter Carmell Jones, the album called "Jay Hawk Talk".
He also recorded with such artists as, Geri Alan, Herbie Mann/Phil Woods, Richard Groove Holmes, Kenny Blake, Frank Cunimondo, Dwayne Dolphin and Nancy Wilson 2004 Christmas cd. He also appeared on Oprah Winfrey and Bryant Gumbel TV show with Nancy Wilson.
Shortly after leaving Silver, Roger began working with Ray Charles. This was his first experience working with a Big Band. While with Ray, he toured Europe and various cities throughout this country. He Preformed at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles and the Newport Jazz Festival.
Roger is rated by music critics as one of the most exciting percussionists in the business. He has provided the rhythmic beat for such greats as Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Stanley Turrentine, James Moody, Lee Morgan, Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Green, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Jon Faddis, Slide Hampton,
Randy Brecker, Joe Williams, Milton Jackson, Jimmy Smith, Jimmy Witherspoon, Nathan Davis, Pete Henderson, Don Patterson, Gene Harris, Grant Green, George Harris, Freddie Hubbard, Bill Dogget, Jack McDuff, and a list of great musicians that goes on and on and on.
With various groups, Roger Humphries has performed at Carnegie Music Hall, the Village Gate and the Apollo Theatre in New York. He has also played at the Bohemian Caverns and Shelly Manne's Manhole in Los Angeles; the Penthouse in Seattle, Wash.; Pep's Lounge and Showboat, Philadelphia; the Jazz Workshop, Boston; Ronny Scott's in London, and many other places.
In January of 1980, Roger toured Europe with organist Richard "Groove" Holmes and tenor saxophonist Willis Jackson. During this tour, Roger performed in France, Spain, and Holland. An Album was also recorded with the Black and Blue Record Company.
After playing with various groups around the country, ace drummer Roger Humphries decided to organize his own group in 1972 which he calls RH Factor and in 1996 he assembled Roger Humphries' Big Band. Roger gives special thanks to Dr. Harry Clark, principal of The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) who has allowed him
to have such a beautiful experience teaching the kids at the school, and also to Dr. Nathan Davis who gave him an opportunity to teach and shares lives with students at the University of Pittsburgh. Roger has influenced the careers of a number of his students and musicians also through participation in a number of clinics such as the, Slippery Rock University Summer Jazz workshop, Mellon Jazz Masters Class and Concerts and the teaching goes on especially on the stage.
On February 23, 2008 the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Pittsburgh issued a proclamation as Roger Humphries Day. He was given a certificate of recognition for his legendary performance in the field of music and
You can see Roger and RH Factor group at the most popular
Jazz club in the city of Pittsburgh, CJ's Lounge, located on
Penn Ave. at 29th Street in the Strip District.
Stanley Turrentine/Shirley Scott - Unissued Session Bluenote, circa 1963
Horace Silver - "Song For My Father", Bluenote 1964
Horace Silver - "The Cape Verdean Blues", Bluenote 1964
Horace Silver - "Re-Entry Live at the Half Note, 32 Jazz 1964/65
Carmell Jones - "Jay Hawk Talk", Prestige 1965
Horace Silver - "The Jody Grind", Bluenote 1966
Horace Silver - "Unissued Live session recorded in Long Island", 1965/1966
Frank - "Echoes", Mondo 1968
Frank Cunimondo - "presents Lynn Marino", Mondo 1968
Nathan Davis - "Makatuka", Segue 1972
Kenny Blake - "Love I Know Your Name", 1983
Roger Humphries and RH Factor - "This 'N That", Corona 1991
Jimmy Ponder - "Something to Ponder", Muse 1994
Manchester Craftmen's Guild Compilation - "A New Home", MCG 1994
Steve Rudolph Trio - "Everything I Love", R&L Records 1994
Dwayne Dolphin - "Portrait of Adrian", Minor Music 1995
Bill Heid - "Unissued trio session", 1995/96
Bobby and Harry Cardillo - "Hands Together, Hands Apart", CK Records 1998
21st Century Swing Band - 'millennium Swing", MCGJazz 1999
Lisa Ferraro - "Timeless", LYF 2003
Roger Humphries - "Don't Give Up"
I´d really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my work and leave your impressions here or in the guestbook on my homepage- http://www.freewebs.com/miartemartagracielabressi- where there are more samples of my digital art works, engravings and sculptures. The web site´s in Spanish but, if you want to read the texts in English, you can access my Livejournal:
You can also visit the website we created with the Belgian jazz musician Dirk Schreurs to make our recent video art collaboration known to the world:
Roger, About this time every year I think of our old group. Miss Rabbit & Mike. It's good to have a means of communicating. Praying all is well with you, Regina, your Brothers.I'm still giging. It's been a rough year, but I've been getting about 6 gigs or so per month. ??? :-)( Have a Mery Christmas--Happy New Year.
We feel more complete than ever now that you are here. You'll find that it is very easy to do things on this network. It is also easy to send and receive messages to and from other members and publicize your activities. Looking forward to the next gigs.