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




What is happening to live music venues locally and nationally and why? Are live musicians an endangered species or will we stand up and fight back? Weigh in!

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Members: 150
Latest Activity: Aug 31, 2018

Discussion Forum

Make Pittsburgh Great Again

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison May 24, 2018. 0 Replies

Feeling unwelcome, James Street Speakeasy owners to close up

Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Dr. Nelson Harrison Oct 24, 2017. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Roberta Windle on August 31, 2018 at 3:33am

Truly missed.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 31, 2018 at 2:10am

Comment by Pgh Rich on September 16, 2015 at 3:03am
Who could forget Shadyside
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 16, 2015 at 2:33am

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 16, 2015 at 2:32am

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 16, 2015 at 2:31am

Comment by Rick Laus on September 6, 2015 at 11:32pm

Thanks Nelson. This site has been a great way to promote jazz as well as generate dialogue among area musicians. 

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 6, 2015 at 7:16am

Good advice and I couldn't agree more Rick.  The evidence of the success of your method is seen on our events page every week. Thank you for sharing. Others would be well advised if they tried it.

Comment by Rick Laus on September 6, 2015 at 1:35am

I think at times musicians are their own worst enemy. How we present ourselves during an initial contact with potential venues is something we don't always think about.  

I always have an "elevator speech" prepared(who I am, name of the group, why I am calling) when I call a venue, and find out who the contact person is, their e-mail, and when would be a good time to call after I send them our digital press kit and promo video. I also make it a point to drop by the venue to introduce myself in person to the manager. Many times musicians feel the venue has to come to them, and don't always realize the manager receives dozens of calls, CDs, etc from groups.  Some musicians have complained to me that they give a venue a CD of their group and are upset they haven't heard from them. When I ask if they have followed up with the manager, usually the answer is no.  Some managers have told me they have received CDs in a paper sleeve and the group name handwritten on the CD. We have to make an impression from the start to and sell ourselves to venues in a professional manner with a good elevator speech, updated promotional material including a digital press kit, regular phone and in-person follow up, and updated contact info. I once heard a musician say "All you need is a good business card, and you can walk into a place in shorts and flip-flops and get a booking." He may want to rethink that approach. 


Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 4, 2015 at 10:44pm

I agree.  I just played 2 in the last 10 days.  One with a trio and I almost alone.


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