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.
ERIC ROSS "has excited audiences with his fiery virtuosity and innovative work" - Washington Post. He's presented concerts of his original works at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Berlin, North Sea, Montreux, Toronto,Copenhagen Jazz Festivals, and Gilmore International Keyboard Festival among others worldwide. For over twenty years he's led his ensemble that's featured jazz giants, John Abercrombie, Larry Coryell, Andrew Cyrille, Oliver Lake, Leroy Jenkins, Byard Lancaster, Odean Pope New Music Virtuosos Youseff Yancy, Lydia Kavina, Robert Dick, and others. The New York Times calls his music "a unique blend of classical, jazz, serial and avant-garde." Since 1976, with his wife, Mary Ross, he's presented multimedia performances with video, music, dance, film and computer art. He's also played with blues legends Champion Jack Dupree,Lonnie Brooks, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and appeared with BB King on Danish RTV. In 2006, he was guest artist on the No.1 Best-Selling CD album in Japan, Aqi Fzono's"Cosmology".
Eric Ross performs on guitar, synthesizer, piano and is a master of the Theremin, one of the earliest electronic instruments. He began playing the Theremin in 1975, and has performed on radio, film and TV. He's written an Overture for 14 Theremins playing simultaneously, and gave the world premiere of Percy Grainger's Free Music
No.1 in New York City in 1997. As a teacher he's lectured on the Theremin, piano, guitar, and electronic music at colleges, universities and high schools in the USA and Europe. He was Master Teacher at the First International Theremin Festival and is
considered to be the foremost authority on Frederick W. Riesberg, Franz Liszt's last pupil. Eric Ross was a friend of theremin virtuoso ,Clara Rockmore, and electronics pioneer, Robert Moog. In 1991, he met and played for the inventor of the instrument, Professor Lev Termen. He's drawn inspiration from them to continue developing the Theremin as a voice in his own compositions.
Thanks for the links to your family a true family of the Arts. My art maybe appear to be surrealism, but I think of it more as statements of our present history, if that makes sense? Being self studied, I am uneducated in terms or labels but I don’t think I’m missing much. Being self studied I lack connection and I will go no further then showing at a few local hospital walls if they don’t throw me out because of content. Again Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed your wife’s samples; it reminds me of the Warhol movement of the 70’s (?) a break way from traditional artistry , Free Will. I am hoping to hear some of your sounds ,then pass your stuff around.