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

My friends and fellow lovers of jazz,

As I’m sure many of you are already aware, I have had the pleasure of creating a jazz night every Monday, starting at 5pm, at one of the most exciting new restaurants in the city, Savoy.

To date, Savoy has hosted 5 Mondays (the first, on August 15, was a preview party).  The first 3 (including the Aug 15 event) were very well attended and everyone I spoke to had a great time and applauded the addition of a jazz night to the Savoy experience.  The last 2 nights, as far as attendance goes, were disappointing at best.  Personally, I am not discouraged by this fact because I don’t believe it is due to inferior product (some of the world’s best jazz artists are being featured each week) , poor venue (Savoy has consistently been voted top honors for excellent food, environment and service since opening in May of 2011) or lack of audience (Pittsburgh has a rich history of Jazz venues that have been well  attended by those who love the city’s rich jazz history; such notable Pittsburghers like Dr. Harry Clark, founder of Capa High School), rather, it is the fact that this is a new venture and many in the jazz community are still not aware of how special a night it is, if they even know about it at all (it’s only been a little over a month, and we are still working to get the word out). 

However, here is the problem; it appears that Savoy management might see the low attendance of the last 2 jazz nights as indication that there might not be the audience or the market for Jazz at Savoy on Monday afternoon/evening and might consider making a change or cancelling all together.  My firm belief is that to change it or cancel it now would be a huge mistake because what is in place now is just what the Pittsburgh Jazz audience has been waiting for and have felt was missing since James Street and the Balcony (as evidenced by the raves of approval by those who have attended any of the nights so far). There just has not been enough time for the word to get out to the entire Pittsburgh Jazz community.  Consistency is the key and if we start altering any part of the format (which is not the problem) we run the risk of sending mixed and confusing signals to the audience we are trying to reach. 

To prove to Savoy management that Monday night jazz at Savoy deserves every chance it can be given to show how much the Pittsburgh Jazz audience will and does appreciate it, I need all of you to make a major show of numbers on the 3 remaining Jazz Mondays this month.  And if there are any nights you can’t attend to be sure to encourage someone else you know who loves great jazz to get to Savoy to support some of the best live jazz in town; in a venue whose style and warmth is the perfect setting for it.

If you loved, and miss jazz nights at James Street and the Balcony, you owe it to yourself to check out what Savoy has to offer and once you see that the spirit of these great venues lives on at Savoy, support it as much as possible.

And I, Charlie G. Sanders, promise to do everything I can to keep it as wonderful a jazz experience as possible, at one of the most exciting new venues in the City; Savoy.  See you there!

FYI:  Sean Jones is the featured guest artist performing with the Roger Humphries Trio on Oct 10.

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at

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