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

Kuntu Repertory Theatre show Clean Drums

Event Details

Kuntu Repertory Theatre show Clean Drums

Time: January 22, 2009 at 8pm
Location: The University of Pittsburgh, Alumni Hall, Oakland
Street: 4227 Fifth Avenue
City/Town: Pitsburgh, PA 15260
Website or Map:
Phone: 412-624-7298
Event Type: Theatrical, jazz, show
Organized By: Dr. Vernell Lillie
Latest Activity: Feb 7, 2009

Event Description

Dear Friends of Kuntu Repertory Theatre:

Kuntu Repertory Theatre is dedicating its 34th season to the works of the late Rob Penny, one of the most influential playwrights, poets, novelists, short story writers, and literary critics in the Pittsburgh community. Rob Penny’s classic plays capture life in Pittsburgh’s Hill District unlike any other writer.

Join us for our next play, “Clean Drums”, on January 22-Feb. 7. This “auto-biographical jazz bop play” tells the story of Joe Harris and the conflict between his traditional jazz style and the new free form style of the younger musicians.

After the show, Kuntu personally invites you to the “Clean Drums” Jam Session on Sunday, January 25th open to all jazz musicians, soul, spoken word and funk performers and artists. The evening promises to be full of talent and surprises as artists, actors, and music lovers come together to meet, to network, to exchange ideas, to learn from each other, and to play some great music. The atmosphere is supportive, creative and diverse. Kuntu Repertory Theatre opens its stage to you, so come along and vibe with us!

Groups of 10 or more receive 25% off the single ticket price. Call the Kuntu office at 412-624-7298 to order your organizations tickets so you can enjoy this exciting season. Tickets and season passes are also available online at

Bring your instruments, friends and passion with you and let’s celebrate the music that inspired Pittsburgh resident jazz drummer, Joe Harris and the 20th Century innovations of jazz bebop that lives on today.

See you at the show!

Comment Wall


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Comment by TLed on January 21, 2009 at 6:32am
I was in the original staging of Clean Drums. I won't be able to attend on the 22nd but I'll try to make it one night in the run. Blessings to Joe, Vernell and Kuntu!

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