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

Portrait-based art installation will feature Pittsburgh residents

PITTSBURGH, PA  — The August Wilson Center for African American Culture (AWC) is issuing a call for participants. Pittsburgh residents are invited to come to the AWC on July 22–25, 2015, to have their portraits taken for Humanae/I AM AUGUST, a forthcoming art installation featuring the faces of Pittsburghers.

Brazilian photographer Angélica Dass’s ongoing Humanae project has featured over 2,500 photos in public spaces around the world, including Madrid, Barcelona, Addis Ababa, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Lagos, Paris and Chicago. “Here in Pittsburgh,” says janera solomon, executive director of the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and producer of the installation, “we will adapt the Humanae project to the theme of I AM AUGUST, the rallying cry of artists, community leaders and friends of the AWC. It is a celebration of artists, of community and resilience of the human spirit.”

This unique opportunity will unite the city of Pittsburgh through photographs, as any area resident can be a part of the experience. The project seeks 150 individuals to come to the AWC and have their picture taken. RSVP is required online at Groups of 10 or more, such as church groups, civic groups, fraternities, sororities, scouts, camps, and artist collectives, should RSVP to Deesha Philyaw, at or 412-363-3000. Additional details, including photographs of previous Humanae exhibits, can also be found on the registration site.

Originally designed by internationally recognized architect Allison Williams, the August Wilson Center welcomes area residents to see themselves in the experiences of African American culture. solomon adds, “The Humanae/I AM AUGUST project invites the community, children and adults, to join us in breathing new life into to this center.” The project will also include a collection of community stories, performances and events that solomon describes “as a first step toward a vision for an August Wilson Center that boldly celebrates community in the spirit of the center’s namesake, August Wilson.”

Humanae/I AM AUGUST will be installed for the September 25th Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Gallery Crawl. A preview event for media will be held. The installation will continue through August 2016.

About Humanae/I AM AUGUST

Humanae/I AM AUGUST is produced by janera solomon and the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater in partnership with the Magenta Foundation with generous financial support from The Pittsburgh Foundation. Photographs from Angélica Dass’s Humanae project can be viewed at

Views: 119

© 2021   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service