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, Parlanto 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.
Musician - Full time: Combo, Big Band One Man Band, Duo . All types of engagements. Specialize in Live Jazz. Classic to
Smooth Jazz. Performs: Plays Sax,Flute,Trumpet,Bass, and
Keys with Vocals.
(954) 537-4824 Studio
(954) 592-3189 Cell
Oakland Park, FL
Learning about Ron's passing today is quite a shock! He was a Long time Friend for over 30 years. We met while appearing with Jazz Vocalists Toni Bishop. In recent years I Subbed for Ron or maybe we did a Duo Gig.. In recent years Ron was doing a lot of Solo work up in Martin and St Lucie Counties. As a Solo Entertainer you would find Ron playing Guitar, Steel Pans and Singing. Over the years we played less often as 5-6 piece Bands were no longer the norm . For 25 years On Jazz Gigs, Ron played in my Band, Bob Vandivort & "Just Jazz" . He was a regular feature Jazz Guest from the beginning of my Four Years I as Music Director of O'Hara's on LasOlas in the late 80's early 90's. Prior to O'Hara's we often played on each others Jazz Gigs and Jams around the Tri-County area of Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Ron knew and could recall endless Songs was an original innovative player. I always enjoyed his use of the "Violin Bow" on the Guitar and maybe a few effects to give it that great sustain and Looping passages. Prior to O'Hara's days, Ron an I both were regulars at Tenor Man "Spider Martin" Jazz Jams at the "Brass Monkey" in Ft Lauderdale. For us both Spiders Jam sessions were a re- connection with Dizzy Gilliespie, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jerry Bryd, Don Miller and Danny Burger (Spiders Line up at that time). A short time later and for the next 10 years Dr Lonnie Smith was my primary Organists and Piano player in "Just Jazz" ! Talk about Too much Fun!!! We all have had Hard times since 2008 and Ron was as Happy as our early times.. I thought he was just another Grumpy Old Man as we reached the other side of 65 ..It must have been far more serious than I imagined ..Are there any other details or listings?