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

Vocalist/entrepreneur Jessica Lee has hosted a musical-entrepreneurial happy hour every Thursday from 5:30 - 8 P for the past 7 years. The current location is the Sewickley Hotel Courtyard.

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Location: Pittsburgh, PA


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Comment by Ed Skirtich on October 16, 2008 at 12:32am
Hi Jessica,

How are things?

I'm doing pretty good.

Fortunately, I've been succeeding in the music business doing various projects.

The music projects I'm involved in include: University of Pittsburgh Kuntu Repertory Theater Orchestra, Brass Impact ( We play Chicago, Tower of Power, James Brown, etc. from the '70's and 80's), Something Special (Classic and Smooth Jazz
& R & B), and also being Artistic Director of Jazz Workshop, Inc..

Work is a little slow because my bands are in reorganization, but it should pick up when we get our demos and press kits together.

I like the diversity of all my groups, and I like the challenge of leading the Jazz Workshop, Inc.

I miss hangin' out with you at Dowe's On 9th.

Transportation is a little rough to get to Sewickly, but if you ever need me to be a speaker along with sitting in with the band that'd be great.

Also, I've had to overcome disabilities too, and at Working Order, they spoke very highly of your music program and your group.

Your program gave me a chance to gain communication skills and networking skills which have helped me grow as a business man. I had fun playing with you and the band too.

I hope you continue to succeed and I appreciate all your hard work of helping our community gaining employment.

God Bless You Jessica! You are a Wonderful Lady!

Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)

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