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.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Joseph now resides in eastern PA (Bethlehem area). He graduated from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2001, Cum Laude with a Music Performance Degree in saxophone. During his studies at Lenoir-Rhyne, he won the Helen M. Stahler Award for Music Excellence, Hickory Music Society Scholarship, and gave an honors presentation on his composition, "Music Inspired by the play Darkside." Among the ensembles he has participated are the Lenoir-Rhyne Jazz Ensemble, Concert Band, Pep Band, and Brass Ensemble where he played his secondary instrument, tuba. In addition, he had the honor to conduct and appear as soloist for the Lenoir-Rhyne Concert Band.
He plays in many groups as the baritone saxophonist. In addition, he has a private woodwind studio. He is a professional member of the North American Saxophone Alliance, and has made the baritone saxophone and low reeds his voice.
A published and commissioned composer, his works can be found for purchase at Dorn Publications. Recently he composed incidental music for the Playmakers' performance of "Searching for Eden." He has written compositions for the Lenoir Saxophone Ensemble, multi-woodwind performer Jay Easton, pianist John Cheek, baritone saxophonist Brad Hubbard's Diametric Ensemble, jazz saxophonist Dale Fielder (Clarion Jazz), contrabassoonist Susan Nigro, and numerous churches in the area.
You have quite an impressive profile and we are proud to have you as a member. Your page will become an inspiration to other aspiring artists from the area who otherwise, like me, do not know of you heretofore. Thank you so much for joining.
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