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

'Betto Debuts at IAJE Convention in NYC

'Betto Debuts at IAJE Convention Trombonist Nelson Harrison Unveils His Icon At
Web/Tech News Posted: 2007-01-11


San Francisco Bay design firm, imajinnWEST and Pittsburgh native, Dr. Nelson Harrison have given 'birth' and the coming out party is the International Association of Jazz Educators' Convention in NY this week. 'Betto is the alter ego designed by Principle Djinn Carl Lewis and spawned by the veteran trombonist of the Count Basie Orchestra as a sort of pocket trombone.

The trombetto is a one-of-a-kind brass instrument conceived in 1980 by Dr. Harrison. Originally a pocket cornet fitted with a trombone mouthpiece, which gives it the timbre of a velvety-rich French horn/fluglehorn combination, the final version was commissioned then custom-crafted in 1990 by Ted Weir. Presently with a Regents' Lectureship at University of California, Santa Cruz on whole-brain jazz and creative writing, Nelson lectures on The Metaphysics of Music.

With four days of music clinics, performances, media and products that brings together music legends, 'young Turks' and aficionados of Classical American Music by the thousands, the thirty-four year old IAJE Convention is the perfect event to premiere the character.

In the two-year collaborative process between musician and artist positioning all of the elements from form and colors to the consequent legalities was not an easy feat. The intent has been to create a vehicle that captures the attention of the populace and educates, especially youth, to the rich heritage of Classical American Music and its impact and value in the world. In the technological coming of age of the Jazz musician the presence of Jazz and Latin artists needs to be as visible and multi-platform as the Pop icons. This was the underlying reason in establishing the JazzIcons. “We at imajinnWEST are extremely enthused at the potential of the JazzIcons. As we step forward with this concept for Classical American music artists I see the ability to re- capture a segment of the marketplace that is visually-oriented by creating vehicles to engage the imagination of our youth.", stated Mr. Lewis.

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