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



Luther Robert DeJarunett Jr. also known as “Bobby” was born on July 14, 1952, to the late Abigail and Luther Robert DeJarunett Sr., and was raised and lived his entire life on the Northside, in Pittsburgh, PA. 


Luther was educated in the Pittsburgh Public School System, and later attended Business School where he received a diploma in Applied Business Programming in 1979.


His love for music began at the age of 7 when he started to play piano.  At the age of 12 he started to play brass instruments in school such as the Trumpet, French horn, Trombone, Baritone horn and Tuba.  When his music teacher Joe Kennedy III introduced him to the guitar by loaning him an album called “Going Out of My Head”, by Wes Montgomery, it changed the direction of his life and he decided to pursue a career in music.  Little did Luther know this decision would cause him to join the formidable jazz guitar lexicon and travel the world.


Throughout his travels Luther had the chance to meet and work with many interesting and talented people.  Many of these included his idols, Richard “Groove” Holmes, George Benson, Dionne Warwick, Dakota Staton, Joe Williams, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy McGriff, Don Patterson to mention just a few.


Luther was always a joy to be around and that joy found its expression through his music.  He left an indelible impression on the jazz and guitar world like many of his heroes did before him.  He was nothing less than magnificent when he played his guitar.  Always soft spoken, generous to a fault, kind and always willing to listen to you and share in the conversation with his wisdom without criticizing.


There will only be one Luther DeJarunett and those of us who knew him, who had the opportunity to work and make music with this gentle giant of a man and musician, can feel very privileged to have done so.  We were blessed to have known him.  He will be missed sorely, but will always be remembered in our hearts forever.


Luther leaves to morn his first cousins Sandra Chase of Laurelton, NY, Muriel Wenger of Edgewater, NJ, Michelle Long of Orlando, FL, Carmelita Weekes of Brooklyn, Melinda Harris-Wilson of  Thomasville, GA  and a host of other relatives and friends including Mark Strickland, Flora Wilson, Fletcher Tomlin, Leonard Johnson, Albert Weir Michele Bensen, Walter Hales, Tim Stevens, Stanley Lowe, Nelson Harrison, Kim Clark, Debbie Blackwell, Lorraine Eberhardt and Andrew Cooper.

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I just uploaded some photos of Luther here and above.
Thank You so much for posting this, Nelson. Luther's death is an unspeakable tragedy to me and others, that loved him as I did. I've recently been in contact with some of his friends that I had heard him mention through the short time I knew him, they all echo my sentiments...if he can see and hear us, I know he is smiling.


Memorial Service for Luther DeJarunett

Written by Courier Newsroom   
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 09:02

A memorial service was held for Luther Robert DeJarunett, March 19, at Bidwell Presbyterian Church in Manchester. In lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution may be made to Sandra Chase, 22517 139th Ave., Laurelton, N.Y., 11413.




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