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 Dr. Nelson, for the beautiful words you sent me for the New Year. I wish you the same and may 2010 bring you many blessings! I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you in person someday! Wish me luck on my upcoming CD Release Party! All my love,Monica.
I am filled with sadness as I send this to you-Please share this with the Pgh Jazz community-from Billy Kuhn received today:
It is with great sadness that I tell you my dear friend of 45 years, John Damico, passed away this morning at 11:35 AM. John was a giant of a person, a man of great faith and tenacity who fought a good fight with cancer these past 5 years. His suffering is over now, and I know he is at peace with his Lord.
I spoke with Donna just a little while ago - she said the funeral will likely be at Slater's in Greentree, but didn't know when. Our prayers are with Donna, the boys, and extended family as they grieve for their loss.
God blessed John, and blessed us all with his life and music...
Hallo!My father has spoken of you in a very honorable manner.I was as impressed with you metaphysical interviews.I am in a town the has one of the largest jazz festivals in the u.s..It is difficult for the locals to get in it.A similar fest in in Baltimore.My major task is to keep opportunity for the youth to enter into the jazz culture.We have five young saxopone players in our community band.My task is to keep them interested.so says the elders.Take care.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.