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

William R. "Billy" Smith, brother of the late Carl "Dingbat" Smith died in Pittsburgh og november 6, 2013

Information needed on Billy R. Smith from relatives or friends for obituary:


Art Reviews: Marvelous diversity on display in local art scene

Saturday, January 23, 1999

By Mary Thomas, Post-Gazette Arts Writer

While out and about this week I was reminded of the rich array of art activity in Pittsburgh. From folk to formal, in exhibition or lecture hall, quality was a common denominator of several rewarding experiences.

  The late Pittsburgh artist Carl "Dingbat" Smith with one of his nail and board sculptures. Nineteen works by Smith are at The Society for Contemporary Crafts' satellite gallery in the "T" station lobby of One Mellon Bank Center. Photographs of Smith by his friend Al Kipela accompany the work. (Al Kipela)

The fanciful and incredibly formed relief sculptures of the late African-American artist and eclectic Pittsburgh personality Carl "Dingbat" Smith are celebrated in an exhibition at The Society for Contemporary Crafts' One Mellon Bank Center satellite gallery. Photographs of Smith by his friend, Al Kipela, enrich the display.

Smith was born in the Hill District in 1927, and died in the late 1980s. Although the self-taught artist used humble materials - nails pounded into boards - his skill and finesse produced striking works. With all of the current interest in folk art, this exhibition provides a standard against which to measure; but, even better, it's a pure delight to see.

Through Feb. 13, daily until midnight.

Smith's exhibition complements the SCC's concurrent "Stop Asking/We Exist: 25 African-American Craft Artists," a dynamic gathering of 70 works that are so energetic they almost shout and so good that they command attention without having to do so. Panelists at an excellent related symposium last week affirmed the value and influence of past traditions in the understanding of self and the content of their future work.

A full-color catalog contains a feisty statement by guest curator and Baltimore glass, fiber and performance artist Joyce Scott. From Pittsburgh, the show travels to the American Craft Museum in New York, the New Bedford Museum of Art in Massachusetts and the Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama.

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If anyone has any information that may help to locate his relatives or add to his obituary, please contact his wife, Lora, who will be in Pittsburgh until November 24, 2013 at 678-822-7763. If any friends are able to or would like to donate any money toward his final expenses, please send to Wells Fargo Bank, Account #: 061000227. Thank you.


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