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.
You are establishing a wonderful presence on the scene that has been long overdue. Thank for using the network to promote your activities. People are seeing your name all over the globe as a result. Post some more videos so people can check you out more.
I'll get there one day. I'm a gigging musician too (mostly private gigs) so I don't have that many nights off. Thank you for keeping us updated on your appearances. I hear good things about your group all the time.
We are a few weeks away from completing our demo cd and have no gigs booked yet. Sam Blancato does the vocals and harp and is well-known throughout the local blues scene. This band is his brainchild and we've been shedding for months to put together a quality show. Our setlist includes songs from Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Kim Wilson, Louis Jordan and James Harman. We will be in attendance at the Royal Place jam next Tuesday if you want to hear and see a bit of the performance. Ms Freddye know us!
hey J.D. - sorry I haven't gotten backatcha - it's been crazy ovah here. Awesome on the hard rock booking. I do a standard 10 percent. I'm here in pgh. for a limited time, but i can check things out for you until then. you'll have to send me a message with your email and all that stuff.