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


For Immediate Release

January 17, 2008

PITTSBURGH, PA – January 17, 2008 Kente Arts Alliance will present another installment in the Jazz Legacy Series-the Pittsburgh Connection. The concert will feature living legend Roger Humphries and the RH Factor with special guests, Javon Jackson and Sean Jones. The band will play the music of NEA Jazz Master, Horace Silver.

The concert will be held Saturday, February 23, 2008 at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, 5941 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA (East Liberty), at 8 PM.

The state of Pennsylvania has declared February 23 as Roger Humphries Day. A similar tribute is being planned by the City of Pittsburgh.

Roger Humphries

Roger Humphries was a child prodigy, playing with professional musicians as early as age 4 ½. Roger’s first major road job came in August 1962 when he joined Stanley Turrentine (also from Pittsburgh) and Shirley Scott at the Hurricane in the Hill District. Music critics rate Roger as one of the most exciting percussionists in the business. With various groups, Roger Humphries has performed at Carnegie Music Hall, the Village Gate, the Apollo Theatre and many other venues. One of the most fascinating aspects of Roger's life is the number of extremely talented musicians he has had the opportunity to perform with. He has played with such well known jazz artists as: Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Billy Taylor, Bill Doggett, Benny Green, Richard "Groove" Holmes, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Billy Preston, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Jack McDuff, Gene Harris, George Harris, George Benson, John Faddis, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin, Herbie Mann, Randy Brecker, Joe Williams, Milt Jackson, Ray Charles and Jimmy Witherspoon. In Pittsburgh, Roger has performed with Nathan Davis, Frank Cunimondo, Pete Henderson, Dwayne Dolphin, and all the other local greats too numerous to mention. Finally, we cannot forget his steady work with Horace Silver.

Websites: and

Horace Silver

For more than fifty years, Silver has written some of the most enduring tunes in jazz while performing them in a distinctively personal style. Silver helped create the rhythmically forceful branch of jazz known as "hard bop". He based much of his own writing on blues and gospel---the latter is particularly prominent on one of his biggest tunes, "The Preacher." His hard-bop compositions featured surprising tempo shifts and a range of melodic ideas, and immediately caught the attention of a wide audience. Silver's own piano playing easily shifted from aggressively percussive to lushly romantic within just a few bars. At the same time, his sharp use of repetition was funky even before that word could be used in polite company. Along with Silver's own work, his bands often featured such rising jazz stars as saxophonists Junior Cook and Hank Mobley, trumpeter Blue Mitchell, and drummer Louis Hayes. Some of his key albums from this period included the Horace Silver Trio (1953), Horace Silver and the Jazz Messengers (1955), Six Pieces of Silver (1956) and Blowin' the Blues Away (1959), which includes his famous, "Sister Sadie." He also combined jazz with a sassy take on pop through the 1961 hit, "Filthy McNasty." Now living in California surrounded by a devoted family, Silver has received much of the recognition due a venerable jazz icon. His awards and recognitions are too numerous to mention here. Most prominent of them is his distinction as a NEA Jazz Master awarded in 1995. In 2005, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) gave him its President's Merit Award.


Roger Humphries with Horace Silver

In 1964, Roger went to New York to join the Horace Silver Quintet. While with Silver, Roger provided the rhythm for many of Silver’s jazz classics including the famous jazz hit, “Song for my Father”. That piece combined Silver’s dad's take on Cape Verdean folk music (with a hint of Brazilian Carnival rhythms) into an enduring F-minor jazz composition. Over the years, it has become an American popular music standard, covered not only by scores of instrumentalists, but also such singers as James Brown. While with Silver, Roger toured Europe twice and appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Talking about Horace Silver, Roger says “it was a beautiful experience working with the group. It gave me an opportunity to “stretch out” a little and play with a solid rhythm section”.

Guest Artists

Javon Jackson, tenor saxophone

Jackson has played with many of jazz greats including Max Roach and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Jackson came into prominence through his 1987-90 tenure with Blakey. Later came appearances with another drum master, Elvin Jones, the trumpet great Freddie Hubbard and bass ace Ron Carter. He's made several albums on the Palmetto label as a leader with his Javon Jackson Band.

Sean Jones, trumpet

Over the course of four albums for the Mack Avenue label, trumpeter Sean Jones has revealed himself as one of the most immensely expressive, versatile and gifted players of his generation. Beyond his responsibilities as a leader of his own sextet, Sean Jones is lead trumpeter of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and a Professor of Jazz Studies at Duquesne University.


Tickets will be available after January 23rd st through ProArtsTickets: or 412-394-3353.

Advanced purchase: $20; At the door: $25; Group ticket sales: $15.

Advanced purchase tickets will also be available at Dorsey’s Record Shop in Homewood and Stedeford’s on the Northside (No group sales tickets).

The Band will conduct a free Youth Workshop at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater from

2 – 3 PM at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. All youth K – 12 are invited to attend.

CONTACT: K. Mensah Wali


Daytime Phone: 347-528-6008

Evening Phone: 412-322-0292

# # #

Kente Arts Alliance is a not-profit corporation with a 501 © iii status. This program is made possible through support from: Multicultural Arts Initiative, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater. DUQ 90.5 FM is the Media Sponsor for the concert.

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on March 10, 2008 at 8:35pm
For those of you who missed it, you really missed a great jazz experience. There were several generations included in the RH Factor Quintet all playing the language with impeccable facility. Not only was the concert a sell-out of 400 seats but it was a true community experience vs. a media experience. In other words the artist-audience bond and interaction was alive and active throughout... if you know what I mean. Bravo Roger, the artists and Kente Arts Alliance.
Comment by Max Leake on March 10, 2008 at 3:04pm
I was so honored to be a part of that! Long past due.
Comment by Jeff Lashway on February 9, 2008 at 5:49am
Roger! WAY cool!
Comment by DR. LEO CASINO on February 4, 2008 at 7:39pm
I am so proud of Roger, he is not only a great musician but a true brother,


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