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



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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Latest Activity: Sep 5, 2015

Discussion Forum

Pittsburgh Jazz Festival "Yes It Can,...Be" digg

Started by Christopher Dean Sullivan. Last reply by Maryellen Hayden Jun 11, 2009. 34 Replies

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You need to be a member of SHOULD THERE BE A PITTSBURGH JAZZ FESTIVAL AGAIN? to add comments!

Comment by Devorah Segall on August 22, 2008 at 7:26am
Comment by Devorah Segall 1 second ago
Delete Comment YES- Of course!!!
What about getting the HIllman Foundation to add some backing? Maybe bring the jazz departments of CMU, Pitt, Duquesne together in helping to sponsor..perhaps that might bring the generations together ...and feature local Pgh players to showcase themselves as well as back up artists that are brought in.There are so many Pgh born jazz greats in and out of would be so cool to see a festival devoted to them all.

I want to be there for this in any capacity
Go Pgh! I miss you!!!
Comment by Jazz Robertson on August 20, 2008 at 3:45pm
I would love to see a Jazz festival here again. But something that everyone has to bear in mind is that jazz isn't just suffering in Pittsburgh; it's having a hard time where I live in Boston as well. It really comes down to where we are as a country with no appreciation and respect for the past, as well as a lack of respect for anything with quality and substance. If we the people demand to have not just music, but other things in our lives (cars, food, etc.) with quality and value, I think jazz can actually live again; not just survive.

Oh, and Olga: you're blunt anyway. Don't blame it on the lack of caffine! ;)
Comment by CWR (Fan of Culture) on August 20, 2008 at 5:24am
Please excuse me; I’m not a artist by any reaches. I just wanted to repost to this discussion after I read the replies tonight.

As with everything in our country, as of late, we have lost a lot of ground. I think Doc reprinted a nice article about this exact subject. It had something to do with using what you earned when there is no one else to rely on (Doc do you have an idea what article?)

I see here just a few replies and all are in favor of a Party ,even though most are musicians or close friends it still means you ALL have the same dream.

Again no disrespect, I have more respect for Jazz then you will ever know. I’m just confused by what I hear& read everyday, people saying they want things to change but go about life unhappily satisfied with their lives.

My home town is in the same boat, a once Grand city, so wealthy Pittsburgh couldn’t wait to connect with us, now a shallow hole in the world waiting for city death. No pride no drives “no” connection. Everyone complaining about complaining, just spinning their wheels all over the track.

Just like my town Jazz is slipping away, almost lost to my children. No cohesion no unity for cause. All this seems to be sucking out the Jazz in Jazz, just like a visual artist few get to the top of the world, most make it one day at a time loving what they do, living to do it.

As I flip through all your profiles I see doctors lawyers educated wise people, I see “businessmen” hustlers smart seasoned people all wanting the same thing, that being to see Jazz up front again. So what is stopping you? Fear?

I may be talking out of line but I don’t think Doc put together this network for his health, He doesn’t work day and night trying to connect all this amazing talent to see it be for not. His mission is your dreams , I think your numbers are strong enough(anchored here) to start making things work in yen’s favor.

With all the talent and wisdom in these pages I can not see why a festivity can not be put together. Start -up Money is easy; the same with fame so as long as you have talent. Nothing is stopping Jazz from being Jazz other then you.

So stop just making a few bucks on truck tapes or playing a few sets here and there, this may sound hooky but unit and fight.

Again Doc I hope I have not over stepped my bounds, I couldn’t help but point this out knowing that sometimes the answer is right in front of our faces but it (sometimes) takes a different prospective before its realized..

Just my thoughs typed out.


Comment by Adam Brock on August 20, 2008 at 4:03am
Yes there should a younger singer wanting to get more connected with more people in the city...I think a festival would be great! I performed at the Monroeville Jazz Fest this year and it was a lot of fun...and would love to do bigger and better things like that in the future...we've got a lot of talent here...let's showcase it!
Comment by on August 19, 2008 at 5:21pm
Hello all and thank you for for keeping jazz and blues alive in Pgh. I fully agree that we should and can have a festival right here in the city, or close by and I would welcome any opportunity to help and assist in any way I can.
Comment by Scott Elias on August 19, 2008 at 3:25pm
YES, Pittsburgh should have a festival. Some of my earliest memories of great jazz were from the fests held at the Civic Arena. Even with horrid acoustics, Cannonball, Buddy Rich, Basie, etc., provided unforgettable moments. A festival can be cost effective: If nationally renowned acts are backed by great local rhythm sections, for example; if these headliners are paired with local players, in unique playing situations, etc. There is certainly enough local talent to do this -- Publicity (preferably national) is key. Bottom line: A cost-effective, "grass-roots" fest would be win/win. If the local clubs could feature jazz, publicize it, run some kind of special deals (no covers/food, drink offerings, etc.) simultaneous with the festival, all the better...
Comment by Muddy Kreek Blues Band on August 19, 2008 at 2:45pm
Why not the more music here the likley we all are to perform and attend the events and the city will benefit from it all. I for one would welcome this festival.
Comment by Lilly Abreu on August 19, 2008 at 2:19pm
What a great way to start the day!! Planning a festival where the musicians can get together and share their work. I am all for it and Pittsburgh is definitely ready for another transformation in the Jazz scene. Let's wake up the community with music and show the new generation that we do need to follow our dreams and believe in our art.
Comment by Olga Watkins on August 19, 2008 at 2:05pm
You caught me before my morning coffee, so I'll be blunt. Yes, there should definitely be a Pittsburgh Jazz Festival again. However, it should not be in any way associated with anyone who was involved in planning it in the past. It should be planned locally and feature local musicians as prevalently as national acts, sans the few local "artists" that we've already seen way to much of in the past. I would be in huge support of a Pittsburgh Jazz Fest provided it's not just a non-stop parade of the Tony Mowod-DUQ playlist of standards and smooth jazz; no Hendrick Merkins or Al Dowe please...
Comment by Dave Conrad on August 19, 2008 at 7:52am
Yes but it can't be like or related to the Pgh arts festival which has become a dead entity.
What about a high level meeting, like a Jazz Davos in the day and then at night just jam sessions open to all and everyone. I.E. the daytime you feed the academic non-prof realm with jazz summit discussions and treatises and then at night you let everybody's hair down and the music goes back to where it belongs in one of the places it was born.

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