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

Interview with Nathan Davis: Teaching Jazz

Nathan Davis was a key player in the jazz golden age that was Paris in the '60s. He left it behind to make a case for the music's place in American culture a...

Views: 110


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Rev. Dr. Bobby Fulton, Ph.D. on April 12, 2018 at 8:23am

My condolences to the family and friends of Dr. Nathan Davis. We pray you will be comforted and strengthened as you go through your bereavement and recover from your personal loss but Heaven’s gain. I was blessed to have been a student of Dr. Davis and to serve as an Assistant Coordinator, Gospel Segment Performer, Workshop Presenter and Panel Host for the 1975 Annual Pitt Jazz Seminar.  Dr. Davis also was a tremendous help to our Music of Pittsburgh record label. He performed and contributed great horn and string arrangements on our Bobby and Bobbie Fulton “Til I Fly Away” Gospel Album featuring the single “Massa’s Grandboy” b/w “How Great Thou Art” released on our Bobby Fulton Enterprises, Inc. label and is still requested by collectors from around the world.  Dr. Davis' music and his legacy will live on and not only keep Jazz alive through students and lovers of Jazz but it will inspire, touch and uplift the spirits of all who listen to it and who love great music.  Our Thanks to Dr. Davis and Family!!!

Comment by Barry Boyd on April 11, 2018 at 9:10pm

That's sad news,

He was tough on students but I learned a lot about performance and life from him. I also got to know his talented son Pierre during my time with the Pitt Jazz Ensemble.

Comment by Kevin Amos on April 10, 2018 at 6:55pm

Dr. Nathan Davis passes. Davis, 81, leaves a legacy of establishing a curriculum-based jazz studies program at a major university. He founded the Pitt Jazz Studies Program in 1969, when only two others existed in this country—one at Howard University established by Donald Byrd and the program at Indiana University at Bloomington set up by David Baker.

Davis is credited with infusing the Pitt community and the Pittsburgh region as a whole with jazz education, performance, inspiration, and appreciation during his 43-year Pitt career. He died of natural causes in the hospital in the early morning hours of Monday, April 9. He was living in Palm Beach, Florida.

© 2021   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service