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.
Hi Fred, Just thought i would drop a line to keep you updated. Hope you all are doing fine and getting ready to enjoy the Holiday season. We are playing next Friday( Dec 18th)at a restaurant in Dormont called "Cafe "J". It is located at 3220 W.Liberty Ave just one door down from Cochran Nissan. 412-561-0450 the menu looks pretty good. We play from 8pm till 12- Hope to see you Roger
Hi Fred, Thanks a million for coming and bringing so many people. I,m sorry I missed you when you were leaving. I was watching for the drummer to end his solo. Unfortunately last Friday was our last date down there after about 4 months. I already have another nice restaurant lined up. I will keep you informed. Sincerely, Roger
Hi Fred, nice to hear from you again. We will be playing on friday August 14th at Melange Bistro Bar located at 136 sixth st. downtown Pgh. It used to be called "Frenchys Restaurant". We play for the happy hour from 5:30pm till 8:00pm. It's a great restaurant and bar. We have been there every Friday since March. We won't be there this Fri.(private party)
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