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, Parlanto 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.
(Sing to the tune of "What do you do with a drunken sailor?")
"What do you do when you're Phat Man Dee?" (repeat 3 x)
"Earleye in the morning?"
To which one would respond (if you liked old sea shanties with modern
"Tell her she has 4 gigs this week!" (repeat 3 x)
"Make sure she buys more glitter!"
And buy more glitter I shall, and more bindis and more fishnets, and more bow rosin for my cello and if I have any money left over at all, I need to get my hair touched up, cuz I'm looking brassy. I don't want to look brassy, I don't want to sound brassy, I want to look and sound like the perfect Hershey's raspberry swirl kiss.....
Thursday evening October 21, 2010, at the August Wilson Center I am singing for an event called "Women who Rock!" It's a benefit to Dress for Success Pittsburgh.
Also singing are Geña of Machete Kisumontao and Kenia Ashby, Brasilian jazz goddess. We are singing with the same band, Colter Harper, Brian Stahurski, Preach Freedom and Miguel Sague III.
The other performers during the evening include Christina Springer, Emay, Attack Theater, members of the Pittsburgh Opera and more! Vince Sims of WPXI is emceeing.
I just heard they are offering a last-minute discount this week.
Use code BETHDAY to get a $25 discount!
Friday night October 22, 2010 I am playing back up cello and dumbek for Cantor Rick Berlin's Friday Night Fusion musical service at the Parkway Jewish Center. He leads a wonderful ensemble chanting new versions of the same songs I learned when I still actually attended synagogue. It is an honor to join their congregation in an evening of musical prayer. Click here for more info on Parkway Jewish Center!
Later that evening, I shall head over to Shadow Lounge to sing for "Bikes for India!" The Kullu Valley Bike Project for one of the biggest parties of the year as they raise awareness and much needed funds to help support a more educated and sustainable lifestyle for the orphans of Kullu Orphanage and the community of Kullu, India through the joys and benefits of cycling!
$50 VIP reception from 7-9 pm
(I am getting there after the services at the synagogue, so look for me after 10 pm.) Click here for more info! Or click here to visit the facebook page!
That same evening, as I sing for the twisted and lovely folk of the S.S.O.A., Tommy Amoeba and his madly bunch of merry men aka "Amoeba Knievel" shall be performing at the "TYPEWRITERGIRLS PORTRAIT OF THE DADAIST AS A PUBLIC SCHOOL OFFICIAL".
I am told it is a "Poetry Cabaret that Explores the Marriage of Art and Education" It sounds
very official, but I am telling you, those Typewriter Girls scare me.....
Though I cannot be there, if you would like more info on the Typewriter Girls and their nefarious activities click here!
I hope to see you at one of these events, because after this I am laying low locally until Vaudeville Carnevale with Zafira after Thanksgiving.....
Until then enjoy some video that makes me happy, I am on a robot kick right now, I am going to sing with these robots one day.....They both won Blue Ribbon's at World Maker Faire 2010 in New York a couple weeks back.