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

Frank Podroskey

April 12, 1946 - January 16, 2021



Frank J. Podroskey, Jr., of Clairton, died Saturday, January 16, 2021 in Westmoreland Hospital. He was born April 12, 1946 in New Eagle, the son of Frank J. and Margaret Cekus Podroskey.

Frank had a love for music that began in the fourth grade where he chose to play the French Horn. Only later, his instrument of choice became the trumpet. He graduated from Monongahela High School in1964 and from Duquesne University earning his bachelor degree in Music. For the past twelve years, he has had an eighteen piece big band called Frank Podroskey and Pittsburgh Big Band Legends of which he was most proud. He played numerous venues including the Baltimore House in Pleasant Hills. He was also huge in the Mon Valley playing at various parks. At the Monongahela 250th celebration, he performed at the Monongahela High School along with Jay Chattaway. He was one of three musicians in the entire world that could play two trumpets at one time. Frank was a member of the Pittsburgh Musicians Union Local 60-471. Besides Frank’s love of music, he also had a love of Amateur (Ham) Radio. Since Frank’s father was a ham operator, it also became a big part of his life since childhood. Frank’s call letters were W3NUS. Frank retired from Clairton High School where he taught (instrumental) music for numerous years.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Fitzpatrick Podroskey with whom he celebrated 17 years of marriage on December 20, 2020; daughter, Dawn Rydle and husband Lee of Somerset; son, Stephen Olup and wife Danielle of Gibsonia; six grandchildren, Kaitlyn, Luke, Layne, Nikkole, Roman, and GiGi; three great grandchildren; sister, Joanne Romano and husband Ron, and their children Jonathan and Natalie of Monongahela; aunt, Dorothy Podroskey of Monongahela; cousin/brother, John Podroskey; and numerous cousins.

Friends will be received Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 2-8 PM in the Frye Funeral Home Inc., 427 W Main Street, Monongahela. A mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, January 21, 2021 at 10:00 AM in St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Monongahela with the Rev. Douglas Boyd as celebrant. Committal services and interment will follow in the Monongahela Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

In order to be compliant with our state guidelines concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, masks MUST be worn, social distancing maintained and only 25 people are permitted in the funeral home at a time. Please limit your visitation time to allow for other family and friends to visit. The family would like to thank you in advance for your understanding. Online condolences may be made at


To send a flower arrangement or to plant trees in memory of Frank Podroskey, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.

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I've been privileged to play bari in that big band for the entire time -- and not only that, but I decided to try my hand at arranging while part of it (and that has since become part of what I do). I owe Frank for allowing me to flex my creative muscles in that way.


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