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

Jessie Wills's Comments

Comment Wall (23 comments)

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At 8:34pm on April 3, 2011, Peter Campbell said…
Hello from a rainy Cairo in Egypt. Hope to be in town this summer and catch one of your gigs if you're not going to be in L.A. Regards,
Pter Campbell.
At 8:41pm on April 2, 2011, Marta Graciela Bressi said…

Dear Jessie,

I´d really appreciate it if you could take the time to look at my work and leave your impressions here or in the guestbook on my homepage - where there are more samples of my digital art works, engravings and sculptures. The web site´s in Spanish but, if you want to read the texts in English, you can access my Livejournal: You can also visit the website we created with the Belgian jazz musician Dirk Schreurs to make our recent video art collaboration known to the world:

¨ Minds of Glass: ¨All visual compositions perfectly match the soundtrack’s expressive aesthetics in terms of emotional content and artistic strength” (New York/Los Angeles Independent Media Board).





P.S.: Unfortunately, I' ve got too many contact on the network to add more.Feel free to add me if you want.

At 1:06am on September 14, 2010, Nancy Persinger said…
Dear Jessie,
I love looking at your photographs. You're so beautiful both inside and out. Also, I love hearing you sing. I will be watching for a notice of your next gig.
XOXO, Nancy Persinger
At 4:42am on September 12, 2010, Roger Barbour Sr said…
Hi Jessie, I like your web page and really dig the songs. It's always a pleasure to hear and play with you. Sincerely, Roger barbour
At 11:35pm on November 4, 2009, Luther DeJarunett said…
Hi Jessie! I'm just stopping to enjoy your great vocals! I've been intending to ask you who the tuba player is on My Romance. You did a great job on this tune, and being an old tuba player myself, that of course caught my ear.
At 3:28pm on October 7, 2009, Doug Jackson said…
Best of luck to you, Jessie
At 12:47pm on September 27, 2009, Vince Taglieri said…
I enjoyed playing with you at Ron's the other night. Hope to see you and play with you again soon. My Romance is one of my favorite songs!!!

At 8:55pm on September 13, 2009, Brother Black said…
Hey Jess,

Thanks for being my Jazz Buddy !
At 5:38pm on April 12, 2009, Kent Bey said…
Greetings... I am establishing a live Jazz Night on a Wednesday between 7pm to 10pm at a very nice, clean, and classy venue in the East Liberty area. The evening will feature local Pittsburgh musicians like Tony Campbell and many others performing for a very appreciative audience of jazz lovers.

I am a Pittsburgh native and local youth arts advocate attempting to expose young up and coming artists to the heart and soul of pure Pittsburgh music culture and traditions as they meet and learn from some of the local Music Masters. If you are interested in hosting a Wednesday night once a month or every other month I would be humbled and honored to make this happen.


Kent Bey

At 1:54am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 2:36pm on August 17, 2008, Don Cerminara said…
Your choice of material is impeccable. The guys around you (that guitar...and the "changes") I dig. Blue Daniel, Caravan, Soul Eyes,,,,just hip. Let me know if you live elsewhere, or work around town some. I'll fall in...nobody does these tunes! I'm the "be-bop fanatic"....Donny C
At 5:50pm on August 14, 2008, Donna Bailey said…
You sound amazing! I hope to meet you and hear you live soon!
At 2:01am on August 13, 2008, Elizabeth "Betty" Asche Douglas said…
Hey Jessie, it's been a while since we ran into one another, but I'm glad this network allows for connections and reconnections. Best.
At 9:18pm on July 2, 2008, Andy Yalch said…
Hi Jessie

Long time no see! Hope things are good for You!
At 4:38pm on June 29, 2008, Dave Yoho said…
Hello Jessie, It's my pleasure to connect with you here on jazzburgher. peace, Dave Yoho
At 7:10am on June 24, 2008, Marly Ikeda said…
Nice to meet you Jessie!
All the best!
At 4:46am on June 24, 2008, Rob Jones said…
Hey Jessie! Glad to see you in the network. You're in my iPod with the Tuba Guy. Hope all's well and that the gigs just keep coming.

At 4:13am on June 24, 2008, sunny dee said…
let JAH be praise,
1-luv sista
Jah bliss
At 6:48pm on June 23, 2008, Diva JC said…
Hi, Jessie,
You sound great.
Join our group at
Thanks for inviting me to be your friend.
Diva JC
At 5:51pm on June 23, 2008, Christopher Dean Sullivan said…
Hello Jessie Wills, I'm sitting here listening to you sing "My Romance" you sound lovely. Keep me informed on where you are performing, never know, when I'm in town I trust to catch up with you...peace, Christopher Dean Sullivan

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