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


Anthony J. "Tony" Mowod

July 8, 1935 - January 6, 2021

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Noted Jazz host of WDUQ, WZUM and founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Society, of Brookline, on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.  He was the son of the late John and Nageba Mowod; husband for over 62 years of the late Elizabeth A.; beloved father of Maryann, John (Courtney), Anthony and Joseph Mowod; brother of the late Mary (Mike) Ayoob, Sadie (Bill) Sporcic, Joseph (Eva) Mowod, George (Theresa) Mowod, Carrie (Bill) Moses, Yvonne (John) Boris, Lorraine (Tony) DeMaio and Madeline (Joe) Makhlouf; survived by several grandchildren and one great-grandson, Gino Walter; he was predeceased by his granddaughter, Dena Walter.

Family and friends will be received at Frank F. DeBor Funeral Home on Monday only, 1-8 p.m.  Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, at 11 a.m., in Our Lady of Victory Church, 1000 Tropical Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA  15216.

As Tony would say, "Keep a bit of love in your heart...and a taste of jazz in your soul.

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His "Nightside" jazz show was syndicated in 40 cities, but the show originated in Pittsburgh at the former WDUQ-FM.By Paul MartinoJanuary 7, 2021 at 7:26 pm

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh radio and jazz legend has died.

Tony Mowod died at the age of 85 on Wednesday. His “Nightside” jazz show was syndicated in 40 cities, but the show originated in Pittsburgh at the former WDUQ-FM.

“What an excellent thing to start off with on this last day of WDUQ jazz,” Mowod said on his last day on the air at WDUQ.

(Photo Credit: Provided)

New owners ended the all-jazz format in 2011, ending a 24-year run.

“Not being able to do what he loved was just, it’s the air you breathe,” said John Mowod, Tony’s son.

John is a chip off the old block. He is an actor, movie critic and broadcaster. Growing up, he marveled at the big-time jazz artists who knew his dad.

“Answered the phone, ‘Hi, can I speak to Tony.’ Can I ask who is calling? ‘Yeah, this is George Benson,'” John said of one call.

There were many others, including Rosemary Clooney, Chuck Mangione, Dizzy Gillespie and Tony Bennett.

Fred and Joanne Rogers were big fans, too, often phoning Tony after a broadcast. Tony’s silk voice and encyclopedic knowledge of jazz gave him a unique connection with listeners. Not bad for a kid who grew up in the Hill District with a speech impediment.

“Made you feel like you knew him,” John said. “Made you feel comfortable with what he was saying, what he was doing.”

But at age 85, Alzheimer’s brought Tony’s final sign-off.

Through the magic of radio, you can still hear Tony’s shows. WZUM 101.1 FM replays taped versions of his shows. Specials will air all weekend.

Tony Mowod
You knew who it was on the radio if you just tuned in and heard his voice, Tony Mowod. Pittsburgh musicians and fans will forever remember when he first hit the airways and brought us all the jazz we so eagerly awaited to hear. Tony was so supportive of all the jazz artists, local and national. We all know his many credentials and know that his contribution to jazz in the city of Pittsburgh was exemplary. The Pittsburgh Jazz Society concerts featured so many of us during the years that gave the public the opportunity to really get to know us and the music and Tony made that happen. He had the respect of the jazz community and his listeners for many years. He will be sorely missed. I know how much he loved his family, how proud he was of his wife and children. That was a favorite topic of his whenever we talked. I’m grateful for the encouragement and support he gave me in my career here in Pittsburgh and playing my music all these years and for always being so gracious in his presentation on air and at my concerts. Thank you Tony for all you gave us. We will remember you with respect and love.
Michele Bensen

If you ever heard him on the air, you would agree that he had one of the best speaking voices ever aired anywhere. Luckily for us who love jazz he was not a weatherman or sportscaster but a musician who grew up in an epicenter of world-class jazz that he heard throughout his childhood, live, 24/7 blowing in the wind of every street in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in the 1930s, ‘40s and’ 50s. He had the fortune of seeing many major innovators of jazz on the streets and even overhear their commiserations and stories as they moved around the neighborhood and even in and out of his father’s bar.  So what he brought to the jazz airwaves was the sound of the jazz life conveyed by a voice that intimately knew whereof it spoke seasoned with a love of the same.

When jazz was hard to find and only scarcely presented on the radio in Pittsburgh, his velvet voice and well-presented music found its home at WKPA in New Kensington, PA in the ‘60s.  I have followed his wavelength from station-to-station as well as becoming a personal friend for at least 5 decades.

Though we have and will miss his presence on the jazz scene, we will be able to hear him on the air through the many archival shows he had the vision to record while he could.  Thanks Tony and rest easy with your winged fanbase “until we get to do the thing again.”

Nelson Harrison

Just a little remembrance.

A beautiful night with the Pittsburgh Jazz Society,

with Trio Grande and my friend Rodger Ryan, for whom I had great fondness and admiration.

Rodger racking up a prodigious bar bill which he couldn't cover.

And Tony, peeling off bills to cover him. No fuss.

A good man.


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