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

Roy•al•ty: Royal status, dignity, or power; sovereignty: to be elevated to royalty.

Jazz is described as a style of music, native to America, characterized by a strong but flexible rhythmic understructure with solo and ensemble improvisations on basic tunes and chord patterns and, more recently, a highly sophisticated harmonic idiom. Let's break it down for you further as we talk about Roy Haynes. Thelonious Monk once described Roy Haynes’ drumming as “an eight ball right in the side pocket.” Jack DeJohnette calls Roy’s provocative percussion “a rare combination of street education, high sophistication and soul.”

Jazz ...ladies and nothing but soul. Plain and simple, Haynes is one of the most soulful drummers on the planet. The Fountain of Youth is a legendary spring that reputedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks of its waters. Haynes constantly drinks from the fountain of youth and revives his audiences worldwide by sharing the musical waters. Haynes states, “The fountain of youth with the youthful young musician is one meaning, and the fountain of youth with the youthful energy of the leader is another meaning."

Formed in 2007, the Kente Arts Alliance is an African American arts organization whose mission is to present high-quality art of the African Diaspora. Kente’s aim is to present art with a purpose by presenting programs that entertain, inform and uplift the residents of underserved communities. The presentation at the New Hazlett Theater is the second in the Jazz ROYality series featuring celebrated Jazz artists named Roy. Haynes has played nearly every style of jazz: swing, bebop, and jazz-fusion, avant-garde, you name it. His performance with those three young men at the Hazlett presentation by Kente Arts was an awe inspiring set that you really had to be there to appreciate. The intimate conversation with the audience members, the showmanship, his unique rhythmic approach and his tap dancing was something to behold. It will indeed be a concert to remember. The evening was also a reunion for the drummers who came out in support of Haynes. In attendance was master drummers Joe Harris and Roger Humphries as well as Tom Wendt.

Haynes has been blessed to play with Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Henry Grimes, Oliver Nelson, Billy Taylor, Hank Jones, George Adams, Roland Kirk, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and many others including John "Squirrel" Mosley during his long career. Haynes has been “hard swinging” since 1944, when he made his professional debut at the age of seventeen in his native Boston. Born March 13, 1925, Roy Haynes worked early on with the Sabby Lewis big band, Frankie Newton and Luis Russell.

The Fountain of Youth Band current lineup is pianist Martin Berjerano, bassist David Wong and saxophonist/flutist Jaleel Shaw. Berjerano, Wong and Shaw put on outstanding solo performances and each musician talked about working with Haynes and how he has enhanced their musical experience.

Reflecting on Roy Haynes in a recent conversation bassist Henry Grimes said, “Roy HAYNES!! Master of percussion, most musical of drummers. Working with Roy Haynes meant every musician had to shape right up under his understanding of music. His attitude is a kind of demanding equanimity, expecting and knowing that you will give him what he wants in the music. We worked together in the early '60s someplace on Long Island two or three times with Jaki Byard and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and as I remember, another time the pianist was Harold Mabern, and then Roy called me to record "Out of the Afternoon" with Rahsaan and Tommy Flanagan in 1962 for Impulse!. People still come up to me and say that's their favorite album of all time, especially young musicians."

Haynes latest album is entitled "Roy-alty" and he continues to perform worldwide. With his latest group of musicians, Haynes elevates the performances of his Fountain of Youth Band with an incredible give and take between generations fueled by masterful musicianship. The NEA Jazz Master also received in 2011, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in Jazz.

For more information on Roy Haynes go to:

For more information on Kente Arts Alliance go to:

Kevin Amos

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