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 more information, contact:

Roy Harris at (305) 609-2849


August 13, 2008 (PITTSBURGH, PA) – Grammy Award-nominated saxophonist Dr. Leo Casino will return home to Pittsburgh to perform for, and talk to, youth incarcerated at Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday, August 20th, 2008. Accompanying Dr. Casino will be Debra Germany, Executive Director of Divine Intervention Ministries, a faith-based organization dedicated to restoring the lives of incarcerated adults and at-risk youth. The two hope to inspire and inform some of the many incarcerated black youth at the county’s prison. The day’s events will be featured in a documentary film, A Better Way, directed by Casino. His previous film, Return to the Hill, was shown in theaters and festivals worldwide.

The event is being made possible by Warden Ramon Rustin (“the best in the country,” according to Casino), and Jack Pischke, the Inmate Program Administrator for the Allegheny County Jail. In attendance will be a representative from the Mayor’s office, presenting Casino with a proclamation from the City for his work in helping to slow the epidemic of Pittsburgh’s black-on-black violence.

Today, Casino is a successful musician, bandleader, actor, filmmaker and activist living in Miami—but his life could have easily turned out much differently. Growing up in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, he was born to a mother who was a prostitute, and he never met his father. His sister was kept in captivity by a pimp, forced into prostitution, and eventually killed. However, he was fortunate to be adopted by a loving family and turned his life around. He finished school, and became one of the world’s first Jazz Studies Majors at Howard University, studying under Quincy Jones. Later, he moved to Miami, and established a successful 30-year film and music career—including being inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame at the Kodak Theater, Los Angeles, in 1998, meeting three U.S. Presidents, producing TV for Geraldo Rivera, and more.

Mrs. Debra Germany is the Executive Director of Divine Intervention Ministries ( Her life changed on July 9, 2001, when her only child, Raymond, was murdered; shot seven times in the Hill District. Through the death of her son, Mrs. Germany says, Divine Intervention Ministries was birthed. With God as her guide, and her son’s memory providing continual inspiration, Mrs. Germany is determined to reach out and help as many people as she can to know that with Christ all things are possible. Today, Mrs. Germany is a much-sought after popular speaker: she travels across Pennsylvania to speak to at-risk youth and incarcerated adults in prisons and boot camps, churches and public schools. Always, her goal is to bring the message of hope in Christ, speaking life into the places regarded as “dead” by much of society. Mrs. Germany was named as The Pennsylvania Prison Society 2008 Official Visitor of the Year Award recipient.

All media and local community leaders are invited out to what will be a motivating, powerful day of inspiring thoughts and music.

For more information contact Roy Harris at (305) 609-2849.

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