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

Historic weekend brings musicians together

Views: 123


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 13, 2012 at 1:21am


Your father, George "Duke" Spaulding is mentioned as a panelist on line 20 of the 2nd paragraph of the article.  The punctuation didn't come out so well in the repost but he IS there.  Thanks for the added background info on him.  It will be a grand and enlightening day indeed.

Comment by Simone Spaulding Cephas on June 12, 2012 at 3:52pm

Just to let you that my father, George "Duke" Spaulding, is also one of the panelist.  He is the only living member of the original 5 musicians that went to court against while local 60.  He will be 90 years old in November and his mind is as sharp as a tack.  He has been a member of the musicians the longest out of all the African American musicians in Pittsburgh.  He joined in 1941.  He is like E. F. Hutton, when he speaks everyone listens.  I am sending this because in you article you failed to mention his name.  Thanks

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 12, 2012 at 12:11pm

June 11, 2012

Panels to Focus on Musicians Unions and Historical Past

Kevin Amos Pittsburgh Jazz Music Examiner +


On Friday, June 22, keynote speaker, producer and writer Willard Jenkins, will moderate a panel, Segregated Musicians’ Unions: Significance, Survival and Impact, at 7pm at The Big Room at the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council located at 810 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Jenkins is an independent arts consultant/producer, writer and broadcaster under his Open Sky banner. He has been a public & community radio station broadcaster and producer in Cleveland, OH; Minneapolis, MN; and since 1989 at WPFW, Pacifica Radio in Washington, DC. Jenkins was also affiliated with Black Entertainment Television, commencing with creative consultation on its jazz programs. Since that time he has hosted, associate produced, produced, and written numerous series, specials, and documentaries for the BET Jazz and BET J channels. In addition Jenkins is a successful and widely recognized workshop, symposium, and conference facilitator, and speaker at universities, conventions, and arts conferences across the country and internationally. Jenkins has served on arts granting panels at the federal, regional, state, local and private foundation level as well as coordinator of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Live grant program through Arts Midwest.


Panelists include: Hon. Warren Watson, multi instrumentalist, former legal counsel for African American Local 471. Judge, Court of Common Pleas (retired) George Arthur, Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo, Inc. Lovett Hines, Jazz Ensemble Director at the Clef Club Ken Foley, Ph.D.,  Advisor, African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh Advertisement The two panel discussions will take place at 1pm in the Hillman Auditorium after the historical marker ceremony. The installation ceremony will also honor recently deceased AAJPSP president, Charles “Chuck” Austin and will take place at 11:30am near the former location of the Musicians Club, the union’s venue, on Crawford Street between Wylie and Webster Avenues in the Hill District. Ceremony speakers include George Clewer, President of Local 60/471 American Federation of Musicians; R. Danielle Lavelle, Pittsburgh City Council; Rosemary Trump, President, Pennsylvania Labor Historical Society; and Warren Watson, Judge, Court of Common Pleas (retired) & former Local 471 member. This program is supported, in part, by the Heinz Endowments Small Arts Initiative, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The panels and panelists are: The 471 Experience: Dialogue and Oral History Hon. Warren Watson (See Above) Cecil Brooks II, Drummer/Percussionist, former member, African American Local 471 Johnathan White, MA, Instructor History, Penn State University – Greater Allegheny Campus Black Musicians Unions: Moving the Legacy Forward George “Duke” Spaulding, Pianist and former member, African American Local 471 George Scott, President, Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo Donald Gardner, Managing Director of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts Harry Clark Ph. D., Educator in Pittsburgh Public School system, founder of the high school for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), consultant for schools across the country and advisor to the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh. Notable members of Local 471 included Mary Lou Williams, Erroll Garner, Art Blakey, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Strayhorn, Ray Brown and Ahmad Jamal. They were part of a distinguished group of players who went on to become international performers, great influences on the development of jazz throughout the latter part of the 20th century. These musicians and the union’s venue, the Musicians Club, were at the heart of a rich culture that developed in the lower Hill District. As ambassadors to a uniquely American art form and as noted figures of the Hill District, it is only fitting that the rich history and the musical gifts they bestowed on our community be commemorated with a memorial honoring their contributions. The African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh is an outgrowth of the realization that a great deal of the rich cultural contributions made in the field of jazz originated from musicians who were born, raised, are living or have lived in Pittsburgh. AAJPSP is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and dissemination of the history and accomplishments of Local 471 and jazz and blues musicians from Pittsburgh. AAJPSP seeks to present programming that creates an appreciation for the African American contribution to America’s original art form by exploring the artistry, personal stories and experiences of the musicians who helped develop the jazz scene. The panel discussions and ceremony are free of charge and open to the general public.


For more information about this series of programs, please contact AAJPSP at 412.867.1721 .

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on June 12, 2012 at 11:49am

Kevin, Thank you for writing this article and posting the link.  I  am taking the liberty to post the actual article here for the members who haven't learned how to click on a link.  This is an extremely important panel and I plan to be there.

© 2024   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service