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

Zelienople, PA – The Strand Theater announced today that it will present its inaugural jazz festival, titled JazZelie, Friday and Saturday, August 20th & 21st. Six of Greater Pittsburgh top jazz acts have been tapped to perform three concerts over two days. Two groups will perform during each concert, giving jazz fans more for their money. The entire festival will be hosted by well-known jazz icon and WDUQ radio personality Tony Mowod.

There is a Friday and Saturday evening concert, both starting at 8pm and a Saturday matinee concert at 2pm.

“We are very excited about presenting a jazz festival at The Strand,” said Ron Carter, President & Executive Director of the non-profit Strand Theater Initiative, “not only because we have such incredible talent lined up for our inaugural event, but because we think Zelienople can become a destination for jazz lovers in the north. Currently, there really isn’t a ‘hot spot’ for jazz up here.”

A variety of ticket options have been set up to give fans the greatest flexibility for attending the festival. Individual concert tickets are available, but deep discounts are offered for 2 and 3-show packages. Single concert tickets are $30 each, 2-concert packages are $49 each and all 3 concerts are available at $63 each. Additional discounts for Pittsburgh Jazz Society members and Strand Broadway Concert Series subscribers are available by calling the box office.

“If you love jazz, we recommend you just spend the weekend in Zelie,” added Carter, “We’re encouraging area restaurants to get in on the act by booking jazz acts to perform in between our shows. It should be an incredible weekend!”

The scheduled line-up for each concert is as follows:

Friday, August 20 – 8pm
KENIA - Born in Rio and living in the U.S. since 1980, Kenia has released five CDs, each one featuring an eclectic mix of tunes polished to a fusion of Brazilian pop and jazz. Kenia demonstrates why, fifty years after the debut of bossa nova, such tropical sounds remain an integral part of popular music. Kenia’s music is warm and welcoming, and uniquely sensuous.

JIMMY SAPIENZA - In 2007 Jimmy Sapienza won the Emmy Award for his performance in WQED's “Live from Studio A” He's one of the tri-state region's top performers. He swoons the audience through a collection of ballads, torch songs, swing, show tunes, big band & more.

Saturday, August 21 – 2pm Matinee
THE JOE NEGRI TRIO - Most people will recognize Joe as the affable Handyman Negri on "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." But jazz fans will recognize him as a master jazz guitarist who converses with the Brazilian lexicon with the ease, rhythm and flair of a hard working Carioca's a musician steeped in the technical know-how of his instrument, but what's surprising is how warm, beautifully understated and smooth his music is.

THE BENNY BENACK BAND - The Benny Benack Band prides itself in achieving a level of versatility that defies conventional labels. From Big Band Swing to Dixieland Jazz and from Broadway to the hits of today, The Benny Benack Band gives each song its own unique contemporary feel.

Saturday, August 21 – 8pm
THE DONNA BAILEY QUARTET - Described as being one of the most dynamic, soulful, entertaining vocalists on the jazz scene today, Donna Bailey creates a sophisticated, “coolness” to jazz standards, as well as with her own compositions. Her vocal interpretations, along with her captivating personality, have caused audiences to call her absolutely “spell-bounding”. Donna was invited to perform for the legendary Dave Brubeck, in honor of his 86th birthday at The Manchester Craftsman’s Guild.

THE PITTSBURGH JAZZ DIVAS - Four years ago, a restaurant called "BLUE", located in the North Hills, decided they would offer live music every Tuesday night and invite the best female jazz artists in Pittsburgh. The calls were made, the dates were set and DIVA TUESDAY was born. The Divas became great friends and decided their voices could make a difference.
The Divas will include a concert by Donna Bailey, then a second concert with Lilly Abreu, Donna Bailey, Tania Grubbs and Jessie Glovier. They will be accompanied by musicians who are members of Phoenix Jazz.

For additional information and interview opportunities, please use the following contact information: The Strand Theater Initiative - Ron Carter, President & Executive Director, 724.742.0400, e-mail:,,

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