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

Honoring One of the World's Great Song Stylists -Dakota Staton

Pittsburgh Music History


Dakota Staton

One of the World's Great Song Stylists

Read her story at Pittsburgh Music History

Enjoy 22 great songs on the Dakota Staton Gems Playlist

Growing up in Homewood Dakota went to Westinghouse High singing with Ahmad Jamal and Grover Mitchell in Carl McVicker's Kadets jazz band.  She worked the clubs of the Hill with Joe Westray before going to New York and landing a contract with Capitol Records.  With a string of hit albums and acclaimed performances at the Newport Jazz Festival during the late 1950s and early 1960s she was a superstar as popular as Ella and Dinah Washington.



Views: 63


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by The Brian Edwards Excursion on January 31, 2012 at 7:42am

I had the pleasure of playing with Ms. Staton when I was in my early teens and it was a very enlightening experience. Although I was an up and coming baby, she was a confidence builder  and mentor.  I am glad to see her getting love from her hometown.

Comment by Harold Walker on January 31, 2012 at 7:23am

One of the greatest an a neighbor .


© 2018   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service