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


The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad is a partnership between Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program is designed to foster cultural exchange with audiences worldwide through performance and educational outreach. Selected ensembles tour to such regions as Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East for approximately one month. International activities include public concerts, master classes, lectures, demonstrations, workshops, jam sessions, media outreach, and collaborations with local musicians. for tour The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad tours operate under the official auspices of the U.S. government. The U.S. Department of State funds international travel, hotels, & meals, and awards a modest tour honorarium to each musician. JALC organizes the tours and coordinates the auditions, which are judged by professional musicians. Selected quartets will also perform two free public concerts, at JALC's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and in Washington DC. All events nationally and internationally may be recorded and broadcasted non-commercially.
Audition Criteria: Each musician must be at least 21 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and hold a valid U.S. passport. Applying ensembles must be comprised of exactly four musicians. Rhythm Road bands must perform in one of U. S. State Department's selected American musical styles: jazz, urban/hip hop, or American roots music (including blues, bluegrass, Cajun, gospel, zydeco, and country). Each musician may perform with only one band, and each band can be considered for only one category (jazz, urban or roots). Successful applicant ensembles are required to demonstrate artistic integrity, musical ability, superior educational ability, and knowledge of American music/culture. Applicants must be amenable to rigorous traveling and performance conditions, as touring regions and itineraries may be challenging. In addition to musical performances, selected groups will host educational activities that include, but are not limited to, workshops, master classes and outreach activities.
Application Process When you click to submit your EPK, there are a number of materials that you will need to have prepared: Two educational proposals that outline a one-hour education program that your ensemble could present on the tour. Each band member will need to provide their resume/curriculum vitae. Each band member will need to provide a letter of recommendation from a colleague or mentor. Publicity materials are not required but bands can provide up to six. Here's the link:

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Comment by Phat Man Dee on September 26, 2008 at 5:43am
Nate Peck did this years ago, he said it was a blast. I wish I could figure out an hour long presentation, I would love to apply for something like this.
Comment by Toni Williams on September 3, 2008 at 10:17pm
Thank you Nelson for your welcome ! What a great web site to visit, such a wealth of information on Jazz entertainment, on musicians, photographs, special events, in Pgh. and through out the world. I'm thrilled.... honored, to have access to a professionally constructed w/site, that will entertain us, and will keep us informed.
If you recall our conversation with " Dolly " and myself, regarding "where is Jazz in Pgh." Thank you for making it possible for folks to obtain info on Jazz locations and be entertained on P.J.N. site. And thank you for keeping up w/my e/mail address, so I could be linked to this wonderful w/site.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 18, 2008 at 5:09pm
Probably this week.
Comment by Muddy Kreek Blues Band on August 18, 2008 at 2:49pm
thanks for looking out when will you be down to the club?
muddy kreek
Comment by Moe Seager on August 16, 2008 at 7:56pm
Nelson, Thanks for the connection. I'll talk with my band.
Comment by derrick schippers on August 13, 2008 at 7:32am
Hi there Nelson,great initiative. Hope you'll be coming to South Africa as well
Comment by Anthony (Tony) Janflone on August 13, 2008 at 3:56am
Nelson, Beautiful picture. Applicants must be amenable to rigorous traveling and performance conditions, as touring regions and itineraries may be challenging. Wow, I've been promised great places to stay and had to fight the roaches (insect). At lease they admit it. Thanks for staying in touch. It means a lot to me.
Warmest regards,
Comment by Andy Hoke on August 13, 2008 at 3:04am
Nelson, that sounds great. Good luck with that! Cultural diplomacy - i love it!
Comment by Carlos Jimenez on August 13, 2008 at 1:45am
Hello Nelson!! Thanks for the Connection.. Be Blessed.. CJ

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