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
Hi all. Having at least temporarily given up trying to make a living in Pittsburgh, I've returned to the "Motherland" of jazz...New Orleans. I've been back about 2 weeks and things are looking good. I'm definitely loving the weather this time of year, before the heat and humidity settle in! I went to a concert at Loyola, about 5 minutes from where I live that featured the senior class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (monsters all) as well as Bill Summers, Nick Payton, Herlin Riley, and Ellis Marsalis. A wonderful evening of great music!

I'm delighted to playing gigs with real, honest to god pianos! Not only because it's better musically, but also it's saving my back some serious aches! Also, none of that musical blight known as "left hand bass"! It's been fun seeing people I haven't seen in several years too. It's a really great time also, because of the upcoming French Quarter Fest as well as the Jazz and Heritage Fest that follows.

It's wonderful also to see the progress the city has made. More to be done for sure, but much has been done too.

I think we're close to releasing my new CD "Reunion featuring Vinnie Colaiuta". I will keep you posted on that. We've had VERY positive feedback from people like Ray Vega, Lou Donaldson and Kevin Mahogany when they've heard snippits of it, so we're anxious to get it out!

So there ya go. I will likely be back up north over the summer and hope tp see everyone then. And now, it's time to go find a nice bowl of gumbo and some etoufee!

Take care everyone!


PS....Let's go Pens!

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