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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Jerry tell a joke about his favorite idol Billy Eckstine at a coffee shop in his home town. He was on his way to this same shop when he was hit by a truck and died from the injuries.

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Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on May 29, 2008 at 4:53am
Thanks , I wish I had more of him in those private times, but I guess thats why they call them private...:)

I was looking at a few photos of you and the other greats Jerry rubbed elbows with over the years. I have a lot of those pictures here. From Jesse Jackson to my first new born son, and a few ladies not so decent(those I will never post)... Its fun but he was a" mile stone" in local jazz, and equal rights even if nobody knows it. A small physical man with a big shadow. A Pimp a play and Jazzman- a father- a grand father and friend.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on May 29, 2008 at 2:56am
CWR,

I had hoped you would comment. I saw where you tried to post this on your page but it didn't take, so I posted it for you.

Jerry was the best.
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on May 29, 2008 at 2:44am
Doc you find all my stuff. This was on his B-day. Me and Jen went , it was just the three of us there. Jerry would tell and joke smoke a cig, spit food everywhere tell another joke.. Get free food tell a joke spill coffee, drop ashs in my drink ...... Man I really miss him litlle bastard didnt say good bye..

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