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

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Comment by Arlene Dantry on September 23, 2015 at 12:51am

I think Melissa Jones should've made this video! 

Comment by Arlene Dantry on September 23, 2015 at 12:49am

"Pittsburgh Comeback", or "We Are CMU", sponsored by Siemens?

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 22, 2015 at 6:15pm

Amen to that Melissa!!!

Comment by Melissa Jones on September 22, 2015 at 2:02pm

Rusting steel mills and darkened skies are common images most associated with Pittsburgh. This is more than unfortunate! Pittsburgh's rich history is one of innovation coupled with action. Read of Nicholas Roosevelt's robust belief in the steamboat and its potential to reduce travel time northward on the Mississippi River AND, more importantly, Pittsburgh's role in his grand experiment. How about George Washington Gale Ferris' connection to Pittsburgh? His invention of the Ferris Wheel goes unnoticed and his connection to Pittsburgh even less recognized. (Wouldn't a Ferris Wheel on the river add to Pittsburgh's skyline?) Let's add Wilkinsburg's Frank Conrad to the list. His tinkering and curiosity led to commercial radio and KDKA. Pittsburgh's Jazz musical legacy, to the disbelief of most of the world, ranks with New Orleans! With that, I rest my case.......Pittsburgh remains a jewel and needs to strut its stuff! 

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