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.
Thank you Nelson. Music runs in the family. Jim Farquhar and I have the same moterh but different fathers. Our mother was an absolutely beautiful contralto and could have been professional if she had so chosen. My father was a professional level trombonist. I played trombone through high school but always wanted to sing. I must say I am very glad I found this website. Pittsburgh is known for great people, great music, great food and beautiful women...they all go together don't they. :-)
Mr. Harrison, Thanks so much for the kind words....it's nice to know there are those in Pittsburgh who remember me. Pittsburgh was a fantastic place to learn about music and it's nice to have a little online community to !
Our newest member (#934), Sy Chen exemplifies the power of this Forum. Thanks again for your efforts on this site.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I have been jazz guitar for few years and Jimmy Ponder is my
favorite jazz guitarist. I would like to bring Jimmy to Tokyo to
perform some day.
Artist or Fan
fan, industry professional
Thanks for such a warm welcome. Dr Leo and I had a small collab in the past and he did a good remix and added more jazzy feelings to a song I submitted to him. I'm looking forward to working with him more in the future.
I'm pleased to be affiliated with a company of Jazz Artists. Thaanks again.
Thank you so much....I'm glad to be on this network! I will keep you updated when Star Power ( a Norman Connors compilation of Artists who include Peabo Byson, Marion Meadows, Norman Brown,Bobby Lyle, Howard Hewett and me!) Wishing you a BLESSED year!
The actors for Clean Drums will be Paul keys who is playing young 17 years old Joe Harris and Dennis Gardner will play older Joe Harris in the show. It should a great performance. Invite you friends and please if you can send a shout to other members about the show and buying tickets, website www.kuntu.org or calling 412-969-1960, I still need to add more friends to my page, I love jazz and i am from Chicago originally, so I grew up on jazz music around my grandmother, but sometimes it hard to find younger audiences that feel the way I do. I am glad to be a part of your network, to listen to some of the newer artist. I hope they do decide to have a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival soon!
By the way, I received an email today from the DC jazz network informing me that Earl "Fathead" Newman had passed, he will be missed. You should consider joining the http://washingtondcjazznetwork.ning.com, cut and paste should get you there.
I am glad to be a part of anything that is art worthy and hopefully I will be able to make a contribution to the Pittsburgh arts community. Look out for my next release, "Still Waiting on the 'A' Train," Dale is one of the guest artist one the session. Be well, stay strong and safe; it's necessary if you're an artist.