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

Michele Bensen's Comments

Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 6:10pm on November 11, 2017, Bob Garvin said…

Michele, You wouldn't remember me, but there were many many times I went to your performances to marvel at that unique and powerful voice. Once---at the Balcony I believe---I offered you a copy of Anita O'Day's biography in case the life of a female singer doing one-nighters on tour with the Krupa band might interest you. I still have a flyer from an appearance of yours during your time in NYC.  Keep that voice thrilling Pittsburgh Jazz fans. Is your daughter following in your footsteps?      Bob Garvin, Bandera, Texas

At 8:53pm on November 30, 2015, Sharynn Harper said…

Happy Birthday Michele.  Birthdays are so wonderful reminding us that we have so much to be thankful for.  Hope your's is musical and festive and filled with lots of "song" !!

Sharynn Harper, New York

At 3:25am on November 30, 2015, Annie Cosmides said…
Happy Birthday Michelle! Your music always brings me joy!
At 2:52am on November 30, 2015, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Michele!!!.  Celebrating by listening to and sharing your music with the membership.  Beaurtiful.  Many blessings and Happy Returns.

At 10:33pm on September 7, 2015, Christopher Dean Sullivan said…

Hey Sister Michele, I trust all is well. I digg your page, and you're singing lovely as ever. I look forward to seeing you sometime in the near future.

Christopher Dean Sullivan

At 3:46am on December 25, 2011, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 1:05am on June 09, 2010, Dr. Nelson Harrison gave Michele Bensen a gift
At 7:27pm on November 7, 2009, Schrubbel said…
Hi Michele ! Greetings from Schru .Cologne/Germany.
At 6:09pm on October 24, 2009, Shawnee Lake said…
I will be quitting my job and will have time to hang out and hear your beautiful, soulful renditions of so many of my favorite songs.
At 6:29am on July 12, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
Thank you for adding me as "your" friend...Please tune in to my talk radio show that airs each Mon-Thurs 7-9pm EST....Friday 5-8pm EST @ ...I would love to feature "you" as a guest on my show!!!...Interested???...If so,please call me @ 757 538 0821....cell...757 971 3733 or call in to the show @ 646 929 0434...also simply go to view the show schedule....don't meet me there...Beat me there!!!...JB

I would love to feature "you" as a guest on my show...The radio show is geared towards helping business owners,entrepreneurs,unsigned talent,and anyone else get added exposure to their business...INTERESTED????...if so, first go to BLACKSTARTUPBIZ.COM...sign up...become a member...Click 2 BE A GUEST..then call me @ the offc...757 538 0821....or cell 757 971 3733 so I can then set you up a date and time to be a featured guest....also if I am not your friend please add me as your friend...thanx...Please join my network would love to have "you" there!!!...also while there check out my interviews with Erotic Author Zane...Twista...his new single "Wetter"...and my interview with Berry Gordy's new artist Leigh Jones and her wonderful music as well!!!!...JB

OUR GOAL is to INSPIRE people of EVERY Race,Creed and Color to be THE BEST THEY CAN BE!!!!
At 10:32pm on February 26, 2009, Kennard Roosevelt Williams said…
Thank you for your response. The rendition of Song For My Father you did at the Hazlett Theater not long ago is the best I've heard...Bravo!

Best wishes,

At 1:08pm on April 10, 2008, david shane said…
thank you for the welcome! and to think you've been as warm on the radio waves since day one...thanks for your sound - a better world because of it....i would never have guessed anyone would want me as a member of their club!...I'm still adjusting to these electric communications devices of today, takes me a while to catch on, all still seems rather rip van wrinkle syndrome, you know....perhaps we can speak again one day in person! until then, ciao!
At 8:25pm on March 1, 2008, Chris Pangikas said…
Hi Michele,
You page looks great. Thanks for inviting me on the network. You are a great singer and musician and have always been one of Pittsburgh's great vocalists.
At 7:48pm on February 25, 2008, stephen boyd said…
Hi Michele, Really appreciate you getting me back into the loop. I've heard your singing great these days. I'd love to buy a copy of your last CD, so let me know how we can make it happen. Hope to see you and hear you in the spring. Take care. -Steph

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