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




During a Nov. 9 meeting to discuss possible means to save the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, former co-director and one of its founders Sala Udin admitted the board did not do what was needed to address the center’s financial problems.

He also called on the entire board of directors to resign, saying it is the only means to restore investor confidence.

“One of the things we did not do—we did not develop a plan to repay that $11 million. We hoped that the capital development committee would come back because they could raise the big bucks.”

Udin, is a non-voting board member and cannot compel the others to step down, but said he thought it is the only way to get “the money, the spigot, turned back on.” He thanked Dollar Bank for its patience and along with founding members Oliver Byrd, Yvonne Cook and Nancy Washington, asked supporters to contact the court to have Common Pleas Judge Lawrence O’Toole appoint a conservator to manage and preserve the Center and its mission.

Dollar Bank has already petitioned the court to have a receiver put in place to maintain and protect the property, and if necessary, prepare it for sale.

Udin said it was heartening to see so many of the original supporters like Rip Nixon, Cecile Springer, Tim Stevens and others come to express their concerns.

“There’s still a lot of love and support for this building and its mission,” he said. “If we get a chance to have a transition period, and the time to put together a proposal that solves the centers problems, the bank’s problems and preserves the mission, that period will have to be funded by the foundation community--and they have said they will not give another dime with this board in place.”
A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.

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