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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.






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       In Her Own Words

Pittsburgh loses pitch-perfect jazz voice with death of Maureen Budway

Maureen Budway

Daily Photo Galleries

Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, 9:51 a.m.
Updated 9 minutes ago

Maureen Budway won fans with her pitch-perfect jazz singing, but guitarist Joe Negri said her “enormous range of talent” was the heart of her work.

“She could do classical, jazz, American Songbook stuff, and she loved Brazilian, too,” Negri said.

Budway, 51, who also was an adjunct professor of voice at Duquesne University, died Monday night after a 20-year fight with breast cancer.

Mike Tomaro, head of jazz studies at Duquesne, said she will be difficult to replace because of her jazz and classical skills – and for her overall enthusiasm. She performed in November at a benefit concert for pancreatic cancer research even though her own cancer had begun to weaken her.

“Her spirit was right there,” said Tomaro, who had arranged the concert to fight the disease that took his wife, Nancy.

Patty Donohue, a colleague adjunct voice instructor at Duquesne, said Budway's teaching skills were strong in the way she “always taught her students how to breathe life in a song.”

Claudia Benack, associate professor at the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University, knew Budway and her work for about 25 years. She said “her voice was amazing and she could have had an operatic career. Everything she did was just so perfect, so right.”

Marty Ashby, executive producer at MCG Jazz at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild on the North Side, said he saw a need to assemble an album of Maureen Budway's music when he saw the cancer taking her down.

“As I get older, I realize that tomorrow is too late, so we did (the album),” he said.

The album, “Sweet Candor,” will be released at the end of this month.

Donahue said it is important to preserve that voice because “just as you always can tell it is Sarah Vaughan or Ella Fitzgerald singing, you can always tell it is Mo.”

“I think it shows all the greatness she represented,” he said. “She was not just a singer, she was a musician. The world needs to know about her.”

Her brother, pianist David Budway, who is forging a performance career in New York City, recalled how she had tried to take her message to the world between 2002 and 2005 when she moved there. She performed at various clubs in the busy and competitive New York scene and then decided to return to Pittsburgh.

“I look back and wish I could have done more,” Budway said. But musicians she met in those days there – such as vibist Joe Locke and flutist Hubert Laws – sent their sympathy to him Sunday, he said.

Budway said his sister first was inspired by the music of Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt, but became a jazz fan when she heard the voice of Ella Fitzgerald.

Her skill as a performer established her here in many directions. Besides performing jazz in many settings, she also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Westmoreland Symphony orchestras and the River City Brass.

Singer Tania Grubbs says she was respected for her “ability to interpret lyrics at the highest emotional levels” and for the “control and tone of her voice.”

“I will forever be grateful of every note she has ever shared with us,” she added.

Budway was the daughter of the late Leo and Rosemary (Rosebud) Budway of Point Breeze. She was the sister of David, Kathy and the late Marianne.

She attended St. Bede's School and Taylor Allderdice High School, at which time she also studied at Pittsburgh's Creative and Performing Arts School. She received her bachelor's degree in music performance from Duquesne University and her master's in the same discipline at Carnegie Mellon University.

Visitation and burial details have not been announced.

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Replies to This Discussion

It was with great sadness that we learned late yesterday of the passing of Maureen Budway.  A true Pittsburgh Jazz Legend in her own right.


Those of us at MCG Jazz wanted you to have the details of Maureen Budway's funeral arrangements.  The visitation is from 1:00-9:00pm on Thursday, Jan. 15, at McCabe Brothers Funeral Home. The funeral is Friday, Jan. 16, at 10:30am at St. Bede Catholic Church.


McCabe Brothers Funeral Home

6214 Walnut Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15206


St. Bede Church

509 South Dallas Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15208


Hearts are breaking throughout Pittsburgh's music loving world...Maureen brought such light to our world.

Maggie Forbes

Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

My sincere condolences to the Budway family-my heart just dropped reading this. I truly enjoyed the gigs I had with Maureen in the late 80's and early 90's. She is a great total musician and beautiful person  To this day I tell all vocalists about her extraordinary level of musicianship-what a range of styles and emotions. She is truly blessed and we were all blessed to have known her.

Barry Boyd

God rest her beautiful soul. She is a major loss to the music community.

Too young.... too beautiful.... sweet, funny, smart and just a wondrous musician. Her voice....her control, the Lord broke that mold when he made her.

Renowned jazz vocalist, revered voice instructor and loving daughter and sister. On Monday, January 12, 2015, age 51, of Point Breeze. Beloved daughter of the late Leo J. and Rosemary G. Budway; sister of David and Kathleen Budway, Dawn Bartell, and the late Marianne Budway. Friends received at McCABE BROS., INC. FUNERAL HOME, 6214 Walnut Street, Shadyside, on Thursday, January 15, 2015, 1-9 p.m. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Bede Church on Friday, January 16, 2015, at 11 a.m. EVERYONE PLEASE MEET AT THE CHURCH. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a future charitable fund to be established in Maureen's honor, c/o David Budway, 514 Hastings Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15206.
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Words can't really express the depth of sadness and loss that the Pittsburgh jazz community is feeling with the passing of a true, pure talent, Maureen Budway. Taken from us way too soon after she dealt so bravely with the cancer she had for so long. My sincere condolences to her brother, David Budway and her sisters. May you find comfort from her many friends, colleagues and fans who all adored her. She has left us with her beautiful legacy of wonderful tasty, swinging, right on the money, music. RIP Maureen.


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