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

41st Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert

Hi everyone!! The first weekend in November is one of the musical highlights of the year when the University of Pittsburgh presents the internationally acclaimed Jazz seminar and concert.

This is a unique event because no other college or university does this IN THE WORLD.


Here is the press release for the event this year.




One of the region’s premier jazz events celebrates 41 years this November, as the University of Pittsburgh hosts its annual Pitt Jazz Seminar and Concert Nov. 1-5.


Founded in 1971 by Pitt Jazz Studies Program director Nathan Davis, the event features a stellar group of international jazz musicians, who will hold free on-campus lecture/demonstrations, visit area schools and community venues, and convene for the annual concert at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 in Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland.


Musicians taking part this year include Pitt alumnus Geri Allen (A&S ’83G), piano; Randy Brecker, trumpet; Maurice Brown, trumpet; Billy Cobham, drums; Larry Coryell, guitar; Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Donald Harrison, Jr., alto saxophone; and Abraham Laboriel, bass. They will perform under the direction of Davis.


Details on Pitt Jazz Week events follow.


Jazz Concert

The Nov. 5 concert is a one-of-a-kind performance, given the diverse playing styles and the show’s impromptu nature. Tickets are $18; students with a valid ID pay $8. Tickets are available through ProArtsTickets at 412-394-3353 or, or at the William Pitt Union (WPU) box office, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Student tickets are only available at the WPU. Tickets will be on sale the evening of the concert at Carnegie Music Hall for $20 and $10, respectively, cash only. Transactions at the WPU box office on Nov. 5 also are cash only.


The Honorable William R. Robinson, District 10 representative to the Allegheny County Council and former Pennsylvania state representative, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies. At intermission, Fuller will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award and Allen with the University of Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar Committee Award. Two other musicians (one living and one deceased) will be inducted into the University of Pittsburgh International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame.


Brown-Bag Lunches

(Free and Open to the Public)

As a preview to Jazz Week and to set the mood on campus, free brown-bag lunch performances by members of the Pitt Jazz Ensemble have been taking place throughout October at Nordy’s Place, lower level, WPU. The public is invited to the remaining performances at noon on Oct. 20 and 27.


Evening Jazz Film

(Free and Open to the Public)

7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1

WPU Assembly Room

International Sweethearts of Jazz (Greta Schiller and Andrea Weiss, 1986). This film tells the story of the swinging multiracial all-women jazz band of the 1940s. A 16-piece band with a strong brass section, heavy percussion, and a deep rhythmic sense, the Sweethearts were not just a novelty but featured many of the best female musicians of the day. When the film was originally released, The New York Times hailed it as “a delightful trip down memory lane.”


Evening Jazz Lecture

(Free and Open to the Public)

7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 3

WPU Assembly Room

Michael Cuscuna, independent record producer and cofounder and president of Mosaic Records, will deliver a talk titled “The Business of Jazz.” One of the key figures in the reissue boom of the 1980s and ’90s, Cuscuna had an early goal of starting his own record label. His career started in radio and in writing for Jazz and Pop and DownBeat magazines. But by the early 1970s, he was producing for the Atlantic label and freelancing for many other projects. In 1975, he gained access to the Blue Note vaults and began issuing a wealth of significant but unreleased material. In 1983, Cuscuna and Charlie Lourie cofounded Mosaic Records and went on to reissue lavish, limited-edition box sets. Mosaic is often called the Number One reissue label, and Cuscuna himself has frequently been voted Producer of the Year in the DownBeat Critics Poll.


Morning and Afternoon Lectures/Demonstrations

(Free and Open to the Public)

Friday, Nov. 4

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

650 Schenley Drive, Oakland

10-11:15 a.m.—Curtis Fuller, trombone

2-3 p.m.—Larry Coryell, guitar


Saturday, Nov. 5

Frick Fine Arts Auditorium

10-11 a.m.—Billy Cobham, drums

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.—Randy Brecker and Maurice Brown, trumpets

1-2 p.m.—Donald Harrison, alto saxophone, Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone

2-3 p.m. -- Geri Allen, piano


Outreach Appearances in Schools and in the Community

(Media Coverage Is Welcome; Only the Hill House Event Open to the Public)


Friday, Nov. 5

Falk Laboratory School

Aliquippa and Brackenridge streets, Oakland

1 p.m.—Guest musician: Quamon Fowler, tenor saxophone


Pittsburgh CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) 6-12

111 Ninth St., Downtown

1 p.m.—Guest musician: Maurice Brown, trumpet


Saturday, Nov. 6

Ronald McDonald House

451 44th St., Lawrenceville

11 a.m.—Guest musician: Abraham Laboriel, bass


Hill House Senior Community Service Center

2038 Bedford Ave., Hill District

11 a.m.—Guest musician: Larry Coryell

Open to the public; light refreshments.

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