PITTSBURGH 3D




Roger Humphries


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

Dr. Nelson Harrison's Comments

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At 8:08pm on December 24, 2009, Flo Taylor gave Dr. Nelson Harrison a gift
...for always being there!!
At 2:08pm on December 24, 2009, benjamin blakey said…
Dr Jazz,Thank you and you are already a friend to me and Kuntu.
At 2:48pm on December 12, 2009, Janelle Burdell said…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! Enjoy! Love Always, -janelle
At 4:11am on December 11, 2009, Monica Chapman,jazz vocalist said…
Hi Dr. Nelson Harrison,

Thank you so much for your gift. I am delighted and honored to be in your company. I appreciate you helping me learn my way aroun here. Wishing you love and joy for the holiday season and a happy and prosperous New Year. I hope to meet you some day. All my best,Monica.
At 2:59am on December 11, 2009, Monica Chapman,jazz vocalist said…
Hello again,

Just to let you know I got my music up now on my profile page! Hope you enjoy it. I love your music here! It's wonderful. I would love to meet and hear you in person someday. Happy Holidays, All my best,Monica Chapman,jazz vocalist.
At 12:30pm on December 10, 2009, Monica Chapman,jazz vocalist said…
Hello Dr. Harris,

First of all,let me thank you for your friendship. It is an honour and pleausre to be in your company. I absolutely agree with you about dowloading my music on my page. Please be patient with me. I will work on it a.s.a.p. but because I'm not knowledgeable with how this is done, I relly on my 18yr. old duaghter to do it for me,and she promissed me she would in a few days. She's sick with the flu right now. Thanks for your patience and I hope the members will be too. I admire and respect the work you do and I sincerely hope I can meet you in person someday! All my best,Monica Chapman,jazz vocalist.
At 3:39am on December 3, 2009, David Panaggio said…
Thanks Doctor it is a pleasure. catch you on the LATTER, LADDER,
At 12:51am on December 3, 2009, Ralph Lamar Smith said…
Thanks for creating such a hip ,educational, informative photographic site!!!
Peace Smid
At 12:33pm on November 5, 2009, Joe Baione said…
Hi Nelson,

Thanks..I just don't have time to read them and it fills up the box a few times..Also, I tried to email you about a few questions about the jazz circuit and never received a reply..not sure if you received my emails.
At 8:09pm on November 2, 2009, Kenny Powell said…
Hi Nelson (Dr. Harrison),
I just wanted to take a moment to say "thank you" for your efforts in working to achieve appreciable outcomes for the Pittsburgh jazz community. Keep up the great work!

At 3:54pm on October 30, 2009, A. Bernadette Hilton said…
Thank you for adding to the list of jazz lovers of Pittsburgh and for recognizing Kenny"Fish" he was a wonderful soft spoken person. Check out my pictures of him.
At 6:42pm on October 24, 2009, Shawnee Lake said…
You sounded really good at Jessica Lee's on Thursday; I enjoyed it. Don't faint, but I have finally gotten around to responding to my "Jazz Friends". I will be more engaged since I will no longer be teaching at Robedrt Morris University. More time for Jazz and creative projects. Thank you for developinig this site, Nelson!!
At 5:10am on October 24, 2009, drea howenstein said…
Hi Dr Harrison,

There are great things about Jazz legacy living in cyberspace! Its really interesting, having grown up in Pittsburgh and then having lived in Chicago for 16 years. My work has always been in solidarity with youth and communities leading me to constantly study and discover the legacy of the African American arts. What I have learned in relationship to Chicago, leads me to understand Pittsburgh's legacy on a deeper level than during the time I lived there.

in solidarity,
At 7:01am on October 21, 2009, Imani Zubeh said…
Dr. Harrison.... I sure wish I had you energy! You have got to be the busiest man in the business! Continue, continue and don`t stop! Respect, Imani Z!
At 3:53am on October 21, 2009, GITO SALES said…
At 11:19pm on October 13, 2009, Vince Taglieri said…
Dr. Harrison,
I have a gig coming up on Nov. 1st. at Murphy's Tap Room in Regent Square. I'm hoping that if we get a decent crowd we could get a jazz thing started in the Square on a regular basis. Chris Pangikas (keyboards) and myself (drums) will be backing Michelle Benson from 7pm until 10pm. I would appreciate any notice you could post on the this great communication tool that I recently found!

Thank you,
It may be a little early so I'll pass you another comment in a week or so,

Vince Taglieri
At 7:05pm on October 10, 2009, Bill Lowman said…
Yes I am the Bill Lowman from Pittsburgh. I also worked with your brother at 911 for a couple of years. I recently saw your video on Metaphysics of Music on FB and was completely blown away by your presentation. I am very glad to see the power and knowledge continuing to grow and be available for our people. Thank you for all your hard work and labors of love.
At 4:06am on September 20, 2009, Imani Zubeh said…
Hi Dr. Harrison. Yes, I have met and worked with Gary. Year ago we met, probably in the late 90`s and worked together in Nagoya a few times for the same company. I know he moves around a lot, but he is a fantastic vocalist and person. I really have a lot of respect for him. Thanks for letting me know he`s here, I`ll look him up now. Have a great day, Imani
At 4:57am on September 19, 2009, Imani Zubeh said…
Hi Dr. Harrison! Thanks so much for getting back and sharing a little more. Yeah, Fukuoka is growing up a little. Glad you had a nice time and actually remember "Hakata". I live in the same area. Yes, PLEASE post some of those priceless photos for us/ME to enjoy.... smile
I`ll be checking in often as I`ve already made some nice connections. Thanks again and keep slammin`.... Mad respect for you, IMANI

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