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

Luther DeJarunett, A World Class Musician.

Losing people we love and cherish in our lives is never easy. Having to say farewell, dear friend for now, seems hard enough, but when it's unexpected, when it happens suddenly, we are shocked beyond belief. Hearing the words, "Luther is gone, he passed away tonight", was more then I could comprehend. It sounded so surreal, but it was true. My heart was broken and I was speechless.

How many hours had he and I talked about life and music over the years? He relished in making you laugh out loud. Some of the things that made him laugh always amazed me. He touched so many of us here in the music/jazz scene here in Pittsburgh and around the world. He was nothing less than magnificent when he played his guitar. Always soft spoken, generous to a fault, kind and always willing to listen to you and share in the conversation with his wisdom without criticizing.

There will only be one Luther DeJarunett and those of us who knew him, who had the opportunity to work and make music with this gentle giant of and man and musician, can feel very privileged to have done so. We were blessed to have known him during for his short life. I admired this wonderful friend of mine for many years, for his undying devotion to the music he made and created and for the kindness he always showed me. We had a mutual admiration for each other and the struggles and joys of life we both had experienced in our personal lives. He was a real humanitarian and loved everyone. He will be missed sorely, but will always be remembered in our hearts forever.

Rest in Peace dear Luther.

Michele Bensen

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on March 15, 2011 at 5:09am
Here are the details for Luther, please post them on your website:
Memorial Service on Saturday March 19, 2011  11am
Bidwell Presbyterian Church
1025 Liverpool Street
Pittsburgh PA  15233
Per Family's request no flowers please.
Comment by Little E's Jazz Club on March 14, 2011 at 1:25am
We here at LITTLE E's JAZZ CLUB will miss Luther.  He was a great talent and a gentel- man.  Rest in Peace
Comment by Kevin Amos on March 12, 2011 at 4:27pm

Beautiful Michelle. Love ya.



Comment by Pamela Leslie on March 12, 2011 at 3:31pm

luther was great as a musician and a cool person. I had the pleasure of working with him several times it was always good. music will miss you luther.



Comment by Linda Jones on March 12, 2011 at 11:13am
Very well said Michelle. Rest in peace, Luther.
Comment by Ken Karsh on March 12, 2011 at 5:26am
Well said, Michelle. Rest in peace, Luther.
Comment by Anthony (Tony) Janflone on March 12, 2011 at 1:46am
Very well spoken, Michele!! I'll certainly miss him!

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