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.
I am a Pittsburgh native jazz appreciator born in music pass down from my Dad who learned piano by sound, until later in his years he moved to New England resided in Providence and Pawtucket Rhode Island. He formed a band named EMANON. He passed on at the age of 75. I am a graduate Schenely High School, Community College of Allegheny County and of Point Park University majoring in criminal justice. I have a passion to protect and serve people until this day and enjoy people everywhere I travel. I enjoy the entertainment of Jazz players and music of their talents in various forms. As a child raised in Pittsburgh, the music of choice in our home was always jazz and comedy listening to Moms Mabley records. I took piano lessons as a child but no where to practice to develop a talent of habit. Today I still play the keys and read music. Jesus Christ is my focus and only love.
Artist or Fan
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Thank you for the feedback. We send out the e-blasts for the benefit of the active members who take the time to post their events on the network. We are beginning to fill up the clubs with members.
Are you aware of the Afro-American Music Institute in Homewood? they are members of the network and you should go there with your grandson for lessons. they teach gospel, jazz and classical music on all instruments and vocally. They have a marvelous Boy's Choir and their faculty are among the best in the country.
I remember Julius Davis and his beautiful smile so well. We played together with Sonny and the Premiers band in the 60s. He was one of my favorite people and I am so sorry to learn that he has passed from this side of the veil. Wonderful sax man and also a marvelous chef. Above all a good friend and splendid person.
Thank you so much my sister, you looked into my heart. I so truly love the city of my birth and coming home talking to the young people gives me such pleasure. Many do not understand what makes me tick but God has plans for me to give and style is a little different.
You are the kind of fan and music enthusiast that has made Pittsburgh artists rise to a very high standard. You know the difference between the real thing and the superficial. There are many things on this network that you will surely enjoy. Please browse around and leave a comment where you are moved to respond.
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