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

Recap from trip to Brazil

On my last communication with you I was very short on telling about my time spent in Brazil. Although I don’t intend to share a diary, I would love to share some of the good times I spent there and maybe even introduce you to some of the great people I got to spend a little time with. (more details on my blog at

First and foremost, I went to visit and celebrate with my ailing father as he turned 84 years young, and we had a blast. My mom’s great food (not so good for the waist however), my super funny sisters and super talented nephews and nieces, all made for an entertaining trip (for real!).

I had the chance to hear some great music! Maybe not what some of you might expect but certainly some treasures I’ve been longing for. Not necessarily main stream, not necessarily alternative…. Truly a trip to the past and reacquaintance, if you will, with my beginnings… I spent a lot of time visiting with Alfredinho at Bip Bip in Copacabana where I spent most of my late teens and early 20’s… I don’t really want go into details, but we surely had a good time reminiscing and enjoying the great music he has been been supporting for over 40 years. Love Alfredinho!!!!!

Spending time with my sister Tania, who plays guitar and is now studying flute at the Choro School lead by Luciana Rabello and Mauricio Carrillio, was , as we say in the US, priceless… I attended a couple of amazing classes there with Oscar Bolao (Mr. Percussion by the way) and Luciana Rabello herself. Totally unbelievable stuff going on in there… KUDOS!!!!!

I also had a chance to spend a Wednesday evening at the Trapiche Gamboa in Praca Maua… As we say in Rio… “e tudo de bom!!!!!”(It's all good!) That’s what I call “spending an evening in the REAL music of Rio”. SAMBA DE FATO with Alfredo Del-Penho e Pedro Amorim in the lead, the group is the epitome of groove and entertaining. It was an evening of powerful energy, not to mention that the beer was always chilled and the caipirinhas were out of this world! This historic location also carries some seriously significant musical tradition. A must go on your next or first trip.

Well, enough of that. Please visit my website at next week to check out some pictures.


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Upcoming Events:

Wednesday, June 4th: at Schenley Plaza Pittsburgh Live Music Festival - from 12 noon to 1:30PM - with Colter Harper on guitar. For more info please contact:

Tuesday July 22nd : at BackStage Bar - JazzLive Series - fromm 8:00 to 11:00 PM at Theater Square Downtown Pittsburgh. For more info please contact:

Press Reviews:
Simply Kenia was featured in the May issue of Hot House in NY, as well as the Pittsburgh Magazine, it will be featured in Jazziz upcoming women's issue,
and will be featured in the July/August issue of JazzTimes.

You can always check for other reviews by clicking on "Media Corner" and then choosing "reviews and press-kit". You are sure not to find anything negative there :-)

Purchase Simply Kenia at CD Baby
You can now buy my CD on-line.


1151 Freeport Rd, Suite # 152, Pittsburgh, PA 15238-3103 U.S.A.

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