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

Last Days Cafe at the New Hazlett Theater - Pittsburgh's Jazz Scene Featuring Nelson Harrison

Event Details

Event Description

On the heels of the recent successful City of Asylum Jazz/Poetry Concert, the New Hazlett Theater is presenting an evening of networking and discussions on Pittsburgh’s jazz scene as they explore developing jazz programming at their venue.

On Sunday, September 28, 2008 their FREE monthly happy hour, Last Days Café, will offer Pittsburgh’s creatives a chance to join in discussions on a new networking tool on the internet aimed at connecting jazz musicians and fans, opportunities and collaborations, and availability of music venues. The evening will round out with a live jazz performance.

Last Days Café is a casual “salon” open to everyone, where spontaneous creative conversations are accompanied by complementary appetizers and drinks. Artists, musicians, writers, dancers, poets, performers, and arts administrators are invited to stop in and talk about projects, plans, ideas, and interests. Often the key to unique opportunities is discovering who is doing what and interacting regularly with a circle of colleagues who are working creatively. The Last Days Café also provides a forum through which Pittsburgh’s creative community can become more familiar with the resources available to them as they create new work, consider forming a new organization, or think about how, when and where to show their work.

The special guest this month to help lead the discussion will be Nelson Harrison, the founder of the online Pittsburgh Jazz Network ( The site has become a fertile location for musicians to network and make connections with other musicians and fans.

Harrison has been a player in the Pittsburgh jazz scene since the late 50’s, when he began doing gigs at the renowned jazz club, Crawford Grill No. 2 in the Hill District. Since then, this multi-tasking composer, arranger and soloist has played with Kenny Clarke, Billy Eckstine and Earl “Fatha” Hines, Jay McShann, Slide Hampton, and with the Count Basie Orchestra (1978-81). He has recorded with Walt Harper, Nathan Davis and Count Basie, and was co-leader of jazz groups featuring singer Andy Bey and drummer Joe Harris. He is currently active in Pittsburgh with Gary Racan and the Studio-E Band, The Blues Orphans, Roger Humphries Big Band, Bill Dell and Wee Jams, and his own jazz bands The World According to Bop, Jazz ‘N Jive, Dr. Jazz and the Salty Dawgs, Blue to the Bone, and Nelson Harrison and Associates.


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Comment by Diva JC on September 23, 2008 at 4:40pm
Nelson deserves every accollade!

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