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 Pgh Jazz Musicians

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Comment by Ed Skirtich on October 25, 2009 at 10:15pm
Hi Doc Nelson, Howie, and Paul, and Dave,

Very nice interview!

It is really great that Ava Lounge's Interval Monday is getting all this great coverage on both The Pittsburgh Jazz Network and You Tube.

I am very happy that when I attend Interval Monday in that I can sit in and jam with you guys.

It is truly an honor that I can jam with all yinz masters plus blowin' with Sean Jones, Ian Gordan, Roby Edwards, etc.

Interval Mondays at Ava Lounge is also a great experience because I reunite with musicians that span my musical career.

Also, Interval Mondays has given me a chance to network with other musicians and folks have attended and performed with Jazz Workshop, Inc. Programs too.

Howie has been very generous with his support with my position as Artistic Director of Jazz Workshop, Inc. I really enjoy playing with Howie and all the folks from all the different music institutions across the city.

Also, I "paid my dues," at Howie's session because I played a gig with Howie at the August Wilson Center and we did one of the tunes from Interval Mondays.

Also, thank you to all the supporters of Ava Lounge, and all the wonderful compliments and encouragement you've given me on my jazz performance and jazz education at the session.

Eventually, I'd like to do a film of Ava Lounge's Interval Mondays that can be aired on PCTV 21 (I did a really cool film already with PCTV 21 on Tony Campbell's Sunday Night Jam Session at CJ's in which Howie played keyboards on the session).

If yinz want to play a session on my PCTV 21 program you're welcome to do that too.


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

If you'd like to do this you can call or email me.


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