PROGRESSIVE MUSIC COMPANY

AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS

BOYS CHOIR AFRICA SHIRTS
 
 
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/building-today-for-tomorrow/x/267428

 Pain Relief Beyond Belief

                         http://www.komehsaessentials.com/                              

 

PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
I'm starting this correspondence, for the solution of a Jazz Festival, or any other event for that matter, is to have a few individuals committed to doing such.
I promote the Goshen "Willie the Lion Smith" Jazz Festival, in Goshen NY, Orange County. This festival is going into it's 5th year. Though it is slow and coming, it's where, I along with 2 others, are professionally working diligently to help keep the American Classical Heritage within the public eye, as well as the ear. Believe me a Jazz festival here, in Orange County, NY, that has been running 5 years consecutively is a record. Being from Pittsburgh and coming home periodically I know all it would take is 2 to 5 committed artist with a good sense of business. The internet has placed everyone on a level playing field. It's now a question of who will step up and start the process. I will say this, for myself, I am willing to work with any of you that really want to see a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival once again. The important aspect of this business is to understand that 90% is about the business and the other 10% is preparing of the business. The talent is as natural as putting one foot in front of the other to continue to move forward naturally. It would be a groove to read some feed back to this developing proposal...you digg, peace, Christopher Dean Sullivan

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Replies to This Discussion

Chris,

I believe you are right on the money with this one. An historical look at most of the major jazz festivals reveals that they were ground-up events vs. top-down. Somehow we have been convinced that top-down strategies work. The premise on which it is based (non-profit organizations being funded by rich people looking for tax shelters) is not currently effective. The tax cuts of the past 8 years have diminished the incentives of that strategy. The largest festival currently active in Pittsburgh is the Reservoir of Jazz Series on Sundays in Highland Park which have been sponsored by the Highland Park Citizens group with some assistance from Citiparks and more recently a few other sponsors have weighed in due to the large crowds it draws which approaches 2000 on a sunny day.

Another prohibiting factor which is of more recent vintage is "kids with guns and fireworks,: especially for the downtown festival sites.

I'd like to hear other opinions on this. Thanks for weighing in.
Nelson...Instead of speculating on how the Resevoir of Jazz concert comes about, why don't you and others ask how the event grew and how it is funded down through the yearts by the peson who actually organized things. Me!! Please don't downplay my many years of hard work. Give me some credit, ok?

There are people who actually get paid , like I did to organize events. CITIPARKS runs the event every year and owns it for those who don't know. The large crowds are a direct result of my initial marketing concept. The event could be much larger in scope than it is actually.

Kevin Amos
Hey Kevin,
Sounds like a bet...how much lead time do we need to get it going?
Dear Kevin:
Thank you for all your hard work. Organizing events making it possible for so many people to enjoy themselves is a great gift to the community and I wish you much success in the future. What would YOUR perfect Pittsburgh Jazz Festival look like? What would you keep from the old one? What would you discard?
Kind Regards,
Kira Gray
Kevin,

Didn't mean to overlook that you were the prime mover in the Highland Park Reservoir Jazz success. Your experience from your many years of hard work are a great asset to the cause and I look forward to your input always.
Nelson:
The two jazz festivals I am most familiar with are the Monterey Jazz Festival and the San Jose Jazz Festival. Security for kids with guns and fireworks is not a problem at Monterey. The tickets are too expensive, the music not geared specifically to youth, a huge chain link fence around the Fair Grounds, strict security and bag inspection. San Jose does not seem to have much of a problem either, despite an "open" downtown venue with a $5 or $10 wristband purchase. I have no idea why except with 8 or 10 stages and multiple indoor venues and non-stop music, it's just too much darn fun. The security force may be the answer, a big cost but worth it. With San Jose there is so much local Bay area talent, like a huge family party.
I think ground-up strategy works better than top-down strategy for a variety of reasons. Maintaining funding, necessary volunteer support, more press coverage(although Clint Eastwood always brings out the stations but then he is local). I was able to talk to Tim Jackson after a Pharoah Sanders concert last Monday and he agreed to meet with me and talk to me. I just don't know what questions to ask. I think maybe in addition to the buy-in of the musicians and the fan base we need a time/cost estimate and after hopefully checking our checking accounts begin brainstorming about our budget and what we can get for it. You are certainly correct--rich donors looking for tax shelters may be scarce. But wasn' t there that concert for Bangladesh so many years ago? Well, we are becoming our own Bangladesh and in the not too distant future the Food Aid concert will not be just for farmers but for all the unemployed. Sounds like the Reservoir of Jazz Series would be a good festival to study and to recruit from. My personal feeling is start small and expand. I work in the corporate world and companies are copycats, to say the least. From the varied responses there is a lot of talent and passion here. Let's find a way to channel it.
I say YES!!!!!! There should be a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, we have enough people to make this a reality. It should be somewhat like the Kool Jazz Festivals of old, have the musicians perform in and around the clubs like before so the people and club owners can take part in the event. Up close and personal. Chris any way I can help count me in. Also thanks for your kind words, I will keep the Pittsburgh Jazz Tradition alive as long as I have breath in my lungs.
PEACE
TC
Hi Tony,

I like your comments, and you've done an outstanding job of bringing the Pittsburgh Jazz Community Together whenever you get to do jam sessions at CJ's.

You treat us all with respect, and you always do a wonderful job of introducing everybody's first and last names and who we are as musicians.

I've gained a lot of clients for private music lessons and JWS participants due to your jam sessions.
Also at your jam sets, I get to meet a lot of high school and college students.

I'll never forget how thrilling it was when you let me sit in with Roy Hargrove, Jason Jackson, Terence Blanchard
and Sean Jones.

You've made my dreams come true because I've been able to conquer my stage anixiety.

Whenever I play I have the time of my life now.

Thanks for believing in me.

And thanks for all that you do for the jazz community at large.

I'd love to chat with you about putting together a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival.

Musically,
Ed Skirtich
Trumpet
ejskirtich@comcast.net
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
Out here in Monterey we just had the 51st Monterey Jazz Festival. What a blast! But what a load of work. The hundreds of volunteers make it happen. Big donors and sponsors make it happen. I have been volunteering for almost a decade and put in about 36 hours during the Festival and then collapse. The Festival Office starts working the week after the Festival for the next year's Festival. We do this year after year because the community defines itself by the Festival. The Monterey Jazz Festival is WHO and WHAT we are. In 8 months I will be moving to Pittsburgh and bringing my passion and dedication with me. I will be glad to join other interested parties to work towards bringing back the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, preferably a few hundred other interested parties. One of the main woes of modern life is a lack of connection and working together to realize a dream generates natural connections. So people feel good about being part of a music festival. But with bills to pay to make it happen the naturally gifted fund raisers need to be on board, too.The recipe is not too complicated. The ingredients: cash, vision, and muscle are readily available in the environment. I can't wait to see the first year's lineup!
Hi Kira,

I appreciate your dedication and hard work with the Monterey Jazz Festival.
That must have been exciting working with so many great jazz legends.

I really appreciate you responding to my editorial too.

When you move to Pittsburgh, I would love to get together with you and show you my Jazz Workshop, Inc. program at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- Homewood Branch on 7101 Hamilton Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15207.

A lot of great musicians came through there like Art Blakey, Jimmy Heath, and Joe Henderson.

I do my best at keeping jazz music alive and thriving while working at JWS as Artistic Director.

To some it may look like I'm selfish, but after playing jam sets with musicians from Maynard Ferguson's band, Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Sean Jones, and Donald Harrison and not getting thrown off the bandstand and earning their respect, I definitely feel that I'm qualified to perform at a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival.

At Jazz Workshop, Inc., my Executive Director, Harold Young, Sr., does a great job of sharing the pie of gigs with all of the talented musicians of Pittsburgh via Family Night Concerts and our Saturday Scool of Music.

THE PITTSBURGH JAZZ FESTIVAL SHOULD INCLUDE ALL OF OUR TALENTED JAZZ MUSICIANS FROM COLLEGE AGE ONTO SENIOR CITIZENS, NOT JUST 8 OR 10 GUYS PLAYING IN DIFFERENT COMBINATIONS.

SO KIRA, ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR DEDICATION AND HARD WORK AT THE MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL.

PLEASE KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME AND I WOULD LOVE TO GIVE YOU A TOUR OF OUR JWS SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND OUR HOMEWOOD LUBRARY WHEN YOU COME TO PITTSBURGH. AND I'D LIKE TO CONTINUE OUR DIALOGUE ON THE PITTSBURGH JAZZ FESTIVAL.

ALSO, AT OUR LIBRARY WAS WHERE PEOPLE LIKE DAKOTA STANTON, ART BLAKEY, BILLY STRAYHORN, AND MARY LOU WILLIAMS HUNG OUT.

PIANIST GERI ALLEN WORKED AT JWS TOO.

LET'S STAY IN TOUCH!

MUSICALLY,

ED SKIRTICH
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/JAZZ WORKSHOP, INC.
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)
Dear Ed:
I am hopelessly clumsy moving around this website so I just read your comment from October 13th. I thank
you so much for reaching out to me since my move is now 6 months away and I am still scared at the idea of leaving Monterey to go to a place where I know no one except my daughter and her family. I accidentally found the Homewood Library over Thanksgiving while taking my 2yr.9mo.old grandson to "Jazz for Tots" at the library. At the event, a guitarist, a great player and wonderful teacher, introduced children of all ages to time, rhythm and the guitar in a very clever way. He had each child pick up a baton and "direct" his playing.
I am excited about learning all the details of your program, including all the history. I have lots of questions
that I will ask one by one. My first: who was your most inspiring teacher? How old were you? What did that teacher do for you? What is your first piece of advice for a beginning musician(after 10 years I still consider myself very much a beginner)? What is your current instrument? What was your first instrument?
As for the Monterey Jazz Festival, I have been trying to figure out who to meet with to get helpful information to bring to Pittsburgh. I think I have to meet with a bunch of people. I think I will call Tim Jackson who runs the Festival and ask HIM who to meet with. Any comments you have are much appreciated. Is there anything you would like to know about the Monterey Jazz Festival?
Kind Regards,
Kira Gray
Just remember, if you are counting on corporate sponsorship for the longevity of the Jazz Festival, you may not have another. I'm not a big fan of not-for-profit status to support the arts. I know that falls against the grain for most but I was able to prove that by making a superior product or service that any art can sustain itself and thus develop as it's meant to, by the artist, and not by corporate decisions. For local artists, I will promise that if you want to perform in a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, that corporations look upon you as "bottom of the totem pole." I have worked in Austin, TX as a coordinator for black artists at the SXSW and Austin City Limits festivals as well as running the only "for-profit" opera company in the world, and we showed a profit. It can be done.

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