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




There is no need to wait upon the 4th estate to give us coverage anymore. We can also cover our own industry with our own reviews. Let's start here.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Members: 68
Latest Activity: Sep 18, 2017

Discussion Forum


Started by Dr. Nelson Harrison. Last reply by Dr. Nelson Harrison Oct 22, 2014. 2 Replies

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on July 19, 2010 at 3:44am
On the Kenny Fisher Memorial Jam Session at the Black Beauty on Centre Avenue on June 24th, 2010: The Black Beauty was like old times. Jazz was home with the folks. Amiri once said, "The music and the people are the same." & Kofsky said jazz must come back to the black community to move forward. Concerts are tough. But the music is must at home in the black community with the reciprocal relationship between the audience and the musicians. The same people.
Fred Logan
Comment by Francis Bruce Marion, DC on September 15, 2009 at 5:23pm
Sunday the 13th day of September 2009 Jazz Day in the Park was a Pittsburgh volcanic eruption (OVER 9 HOURS) of the earthy jazz way to live! With Joe Negri, 10 singing Jazz Diva's, Harold Betters Quartet w/ Kenny Blake, 6 singing Jazz Divo's , The Benny Benack Big Band, Roger Humphries RH Factor! featuring Sean Jones and The ALO (American Latin Orchestra)!!! (And I can't leave out the SuperKeyboard man Max Leake (who backed almost everybody)! All Pittsburghers should donate music, time and/or $ to make sure these kind of eruptions keep happening with DUQ's Tony Mowod and the Pittsburgh Jazz Society!!!
Some of performances will be on our net site
Comment by Karoly Domonyi on March 1, 2009 at 4:59am
Hi, just wanted to thank you for adding me as a friend at group.
Hope to gain and share some knowledge about marketing online!
Aries Network - Add URL - Free B2B - Dog&Cat - Art Gallery
Comment by david shane on July 23, 2008 at 1:35pm
Those who missed the 1st anniversary jam at AVA's would have really enjoyed the fiery energy of the special guests! they all were diggin' really deep on Monday nite! Whoah! The fiery energy from 4 trombones and Dr. Harrison, and the sweet sounds of all the horns atop the regulars who hold it all together - you know who you are - (!) made for an unforgettable night!.....a great Midsummer Nights Dream in Jazz.... yah! ..... .thanks to AVA's owner/mgrs for knowing who to allow the freedoms needed to really make this place happen!.... anyone visiting from out of town would be blown away to visit this terrific gathering spot in the Eastside for jazz in the 'burgh! .....
Comment by Frank B. Greenlee on July 17, 2008 at 6:55pm
I think we need to have some concerts to honor and thank the artists who have left and/or stayed in Pittsburgh and have represented us well. People like James "Blood" Ulmer, John Heard and Lena Horne just to name a few. This should include dancers, actors, visual artists and musicians of all types. Let them know what we feel while they can appreciate it.

Whay do you think?
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on May 30, 2008 at 6:18pm
Musical performance, information joined together for ‘informance’ on musical style, genre

By Deb Kelly
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE Fri, May 30 2008

— What do you get when you combine a musical performance with educational information about the musical style and genre?
An “informance,” of course!
In what may be the first of a series of “informances” to educate and entertain the community about various types of music styles, Arts Illiana, Downtown Terre Haute, Inc., Americorps and Indiana State University on Wednesday presented area band “Just Us,” in partnership with Kenan Foley, to explore blues and rock & roll music. Foley is a professor of African and African-American Studies at ISU .
The Verve, a downtown Terre Haute nightclub, opened its doors from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, and community members were invited to bring lunches and enjoy the free performance of “Just Us.”
In addition to the performance, Foley and the crowd had opportunities to interact with the band and to talk about the influence of African and African-American culture on rock and blues.
Derek Kendrick, communications specialist for Arts Illiana, said the pilot program will be evaluated and if it is deemed successful, more funding will be sought for future events.
Live blues music spilled out onto the sidewalk along Wabash Avenue in the middle of the afternoon, coaxing some to come in off the street and listen. Band members Brock Hudson (vocals), Gary Wells (guitar), Archie Smith (keyboard), Jamal Smith (percussion) and Jimmy Dunn (drums) played rock and blues favorites including “My Girl,” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine.”
After the program, Foley said he felt it was successful.
“This was a pilot idea to see how it would work and what kind of response we would get and to just try some innovative thinking,” Foley said, adding that the informance was the result of a “Liberal Learning in Action” grant sponsored by the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement.
“The idea is to bring the classroom into the community,” Foley said.
“My hope is that it will open up that idea of engagement between the university and the town,” he said.
Anne Lynk, president of the Terre Haute Symphony, attended the program. During a break, she said, “This is a nice little outing. It’s great to have things like this where people can come out on their lunch hour, and we’ve learned that people that love music love all kinds of music.
“We all enjoy this kind of thing,” she said.
Deb Kelly can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.


Cool class: Guitarist Gary Wells and vocalist Brock Hudson perform for an Indiana State University African-American studies class at the Verve Wednesday afternoon. The Tribune-Star
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on April 24, 2008 at 11:20pm
Trombonist Nelson Harrison should have named his show at the Cabaret Theater, Downtown, "Jam Session" instead of "Horn Section."

The April 15 concert that was part of the Jazz Appreciation Month celebration did not show the cohesion, clever arrangements or sonority that a "section" would produce. Instead, it simply was a group of five horn players jamming jazz classics such as "Blue Bossa" or "Our Delight."

That didn't make the show unenjoyable, but it was easily the weakest of the series of five concerts that continues this evening. Saxophonist Lou Stellute got a big hand for his energetic solo on "Blue Bossa," but, most often, the responses simply were polite.

That made sense. The solos from the group also featuring trumpeter Chuck Austin, trombonist Al Dowe and alto sax player Hosea Taylor seldom showed passion or inspiration.

Drummer Roger Humphries was the standout. naturally, to a rhythm section that also featured bassist Virgil Walters, pianist Max Leake and guitarist Gerald Haymon.

-- Bob Karlovits
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on April 24, 2008 at 3:27am


About Count Basie

In his 80 year life span, William "Count" Basie so expanded and elevated the art form of jazz that his legacy is regarded as "an American Institution" by modern music's connoisseurs worldwide.

The Count Basie Band began to form at the Reno Club in Kansas City in 1935. One of the band's shows at the Reno Club was broadcast and the announcer dubbed Basie as "Count Basie" to compete with other bandleaders such as Duke Ellington. In addition to these broadcasts giving Basie his new name, recording executive John Hammond also heard one of the broadcasts and convinced a booking agency to take on the band.

The Count Basie Orchestra began to slowly obtain acclaim. Today, many musicians consider The Count Basie Orchestra to be a model for "ensemble rhythmic conception and tonal balance." During the 1930's, the band's lightness and precision set the tone for modern jazz accompanying style.

The Orchestra today is comprised of 19 performers under the direction of famed trombonist Bill Hughes, bringing you a memorable night of music with a big band flavor. They are in demand for television and films, have won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and continue to accumulate awards and special recognitions.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on April 24, 2008 at 3:02am
I want to personally thank the members of The Horn Section who performed on Tuesday April 15 at the Cabaret Theatre with me. It was an impromptu band of 9 band leaders: Chuck Austin, Al Dowe, Lou Stellute, Hosea Taylor, Gerald Haymon, Max Leake, Virgil Walters, Roger Humphries and yours truly. The camaraderie, cooperation, professionalism, enthusiasm and outstanding playing by all members made it an historic occasion. Thanks to all with love and respect. Anyone who was there is invited to please add your comments here.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on April 15, 2008 at 6:26am
The Preservation Hall Jazz Band shook the rafters at the Byham Theatre last night aided by a sell-out crowd who wound up dancing in the aisles and on the stage in the traditional closing ritual second-line parade-style march around the auditorium. there were a few replacements in the touring band from the picture on the flyer: Leader John Brunious - trumpet had died less than 2 months ago (1940-2008). He was very ably replaced by his nephew Mark Braud (only 34 years old). Regular drummer Joe Lastie was replaced by veteran drummer Shannon Powell and Elliot "Stackman" Callier filled the clarinet chair with his soprano sax. Newcomer Clint Maedgen played the role of guest vocalist and tenor saxophonist filling the seat usually occupied by a banjoist. Veteran bassist Walter Payton (father of trumpeter Nicholas Payton) held the bass chair and music director Ricky Monet amazed the crowd with his pianistic brilliance. The longest standing member, trombonist Frank Demond held forth on trombone as he has been doing since he replaced Big Jim Robinson in 1976. there were many young people there who were shown the power of spirited acoustic music... a feat that machines con never hope to accomplish. The audience even clapped their hands appropriately on 2 & 4 for most of the evening until the last number when the 1 & 3 clappers won out. Kudos to those who maintained their 2 & 4 clap without capitulating to the majority. C'mon... yinz used to be hipper than that. ;-)

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