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

Phat Man Dee @ Backstage Bar, Stories on the Square & World Maker Faire!

They say once a girl starts singing in a bathtub 20 feet in the air she'll never want to sing in the shower again.... And so I find myself booking transport to NY this weekend for the World Maker Faire at New York Hall of Science in Queens. But I  have many songs to sing between now and then and I hope you may attend one of the events!
new photo by Adam Blai 2011
This Friday September 16, 2011 in Pittsburgh, PA
From 5 - 7 pm I shall sing with Miguel Sague III and Carlos Peña of Guaracha Latin Dance Band at the Backstage Bar downtown at 655 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA. No cover, great little menu, delicious cocktails. Start your weekend with a song or two by one of Pittsburgh's most engaging performers. Jazz in any language with Spanish guitar and Afro Cuban percussion is the perfect complement to your busy weekend. No cover, great bartender and great light menu. See you in Pittsburgh, where the music flows and the drummer knows just what you need.
For more info visit Backstage Bar on the web! 

Immediately afterwards *THAT SAME EVENING OF 9/16/2011* I shall rush off to speak about personal transformation and stories of emergence, at "Stories on the Square". I have absolutely no idea what I am going to say. I might tell about the time we nearly burned down Lafayette, LA during a tropical storm playing flaming soccer with the Veg O Matic in 1997, or I might tell about the time my preschool teacher called my mother when she thought I was suicidal because I chose black as the
color for my birthday crown.....Who knows, I am happy there are other speakers on the gig, like Vanessa German, Wendy Bell of WTAE, Brian Broome, Christina Springer and more! This is sure to be an powerful evening of intimacy, expression and of course...delicious food. Tickets are $45, (a tax-dedictable donation) and there are only have 55 seats available. All funds raised by Stories on the Square will be used to fund Initiative for Transgender Leadership's (ITL) first paid Fellow, Rayden Sorock.
For more info:

Then I shall make haste to New York City! The Lifesize Mousetrap is set up again, this time at New York Hall of Science at World Maker Faire! I shall sing again in their beautiful bathtub 20 feet in the air again, and this time I am even getting a set on the Maker Faire music stage at 1 pm on Sunday September 18, 2011!

So, I have a busy busy week ahead of me, and I hope to see you somewhere sooner rather than later. It's gonna be swell. Better than cookies under moonlight. Ok, maybe not quite that good, but close, I promise.

Other dates in the not so distant future:

Friday September 23 with DJ Brother Strawberry at Tin Front Cafe at 216 East Eighth Avenue, Homestead, PA, 15120. I'll be singing some tunes as he djs the night away. Amazing vegetarian food, good drinks, I suggest you make reservations, it's Bernard's from Mostly Mod's birthday party and it's gonna be off the hook.
website: ph:412.461.4615

Saturday September 24 with Tadashi, Gia Cacalano & Jeff Berman at the
Zen Center of Pittsburgh for a benefit to assist survivors of the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief efforts. All proceeds will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. $15

Tuesday September 27 at the Andy Warhol Museum opening for NewVillager, a collective of multi-media artists from San Francisco and New York.

Be well, prosper, stay warm and snug, my beautiful and human spiritual machines, I am honored to be in your world.

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