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.
Good to hear from you and that all is good! WOrking more than I have in 2.5 years back now! Yea... Jst opened ROCKY HORROR SHOW at Playhouse but heading back to CLO Cab for tribute to Frank SInatra, MY WAY Easter week thru mid May. Alll the while doing CHarloites Web for Playhouse's CHildren's Theater in the days! WHeee! HAve fun today! Love, -j
I actually got someone already for that day...but since we only live a few minutes apart we need to meet up sometime and chat! I will be having some more gigs I may need you for! I will keep you posted and give you a call when they come up! thanks so much.
Thanks for the message! Ithaca is beautiful country, too. I love it there. Many good players in that area. I've worked with Steve Brown, but only a couple of times. He's a great player. I think he's getting ready to retire and his son (who I think plays bass) will be taking his position, so I hear.
I like this Pittsburgh network. It seems like a nice community of musicians. I invite to to join our network, too - we'd love to have you: www.syracusejazznetwork.com
Thanks Jeff for turning me on to the PJN. I wouldn't miss being here for the world.
I know I haven't made the scene recently but hopefully we can get together soon when you least expect it. I'll try to follow where you'll be playing. You're still with Patti right? Say hi to Kurt for me will ya?