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.
I have just been informed of some very good news from Tamm E. Hunt, Founder/host of our sister network The Global Jazz Network (TGJN) as follows:
FYI! as some of you remember the TGJN JAZZBLAST! to help Hard Bop piano legend, 81 years young Freddie Redd has circulated the Globe and come back home to settle a need. Wendy Oxenhorn of The Jazz Foundation of America for stepping up to the plate… Continue
Friday, January 01, 2010
By Diana Nelson Jones, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A poet, playwright, therapist and teacher, Maisha Baton had the gift of making connections that nurtured a host of artists and activists. The only female to perform with the Centre Avenue Poets Theater workshop -- and the last of them -- Dr. Baton died Sunday. She was 71.
Diagnosed with lung cancer in February, she spent her… Continue
"It is with great sadness that I tell you my dear friend of 45 years, John Damico, passed away this morning at 11:35 AM. John was a giant of a person, a man of great faith and tenacity who fought a good fight with cancer these past 5 years. His suffering is over now, and I know he is at peace with his Lord.
I spoke with Donna just a little while ago - she said the funeral will likely be at Slater's in Greentree, but didn't know when. Our prayers are with Donna, the boys, and…Continue