Pain Relief Beyond Belief





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
Elva Branson-Lee
  • Female
  • Conley, GA
  • United States
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Profile Information

Favorite website
Pittsburgh Connection
My hometown!
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Billy Branson, Joe Harris, Phyllis Hyman, Carl Arter, Mike Taylor, Etta Cox, Nelson Harrison, James Johnson, Jimmy Ponder, Rodney McCoy. (too many to name, really)
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
The Zebra Room, Stolen Moments, Crawford Grill, Walt Harper's Attic, CJs
About Me:
Alive and well!
Artist or Fan
artist, fan, industry professional

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Comment Wall (6 comments)

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At 3:34pm on January 8, 2009, jon armes said…
Elva, I hope your family is doing fine I have been getting your e-mails, Thanks. If you do make it to pittsburgh, call me. Love Rickey
At 4:55am on January 2, 2009, Etta Cox said…
Elva - I went to your website. Are you in Atlanta? I thought you were in LA. Please let me know where you are and keep in touch. Etta
At 4:52am on January 2, 2009, Etta Cox said…
I wish that I had known you were in town. I would have loved to have seen you. I will be in LA Jan. 30 - Feb. 5 for the Pre-Grammys. One of my students is in the Jazz Ensemble for the Grammys. Let me know how to get in touch with you. I have a new email address: Love Etta
At 4:03am on January 2, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

We miss you too but we can visit often through this network.

Happy New Year.
At 4:13pm on July 29, 2008, Carlos Peña said…
Are you the Elva Branson who made that single "Take My Hand" / "Just Can't See" on Starship records? I love that record!!!
At 3:13am on July 26, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Elva,

WOW... what a pleasant surprise. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to have you join us. Please post some Billy Branson artifacts on your page so the world can know about his unique brand of artistry as well as you own.



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