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
Kai Ballard
  • Male
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • United States
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Favorite website
Favorite blog
Pittsburgh Connection
Have played with Eric Johnson, Dan Wasson, Tony Campbell, Nelson Harrison, Eastminster Praise Team, Mike Sheer, Craig King, Gordi,Jeremy Fisher Organ Trio, Calvin Stemley (Stemetics), Hill Jordan, Jim Hamel, Felicia Sam, teach at my church (Judah Project) and School of Rock.
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Roger Humphries, Max Leake, Eric Johnson, House of Soul.
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
67 on Sirius
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
About Me:
B.A. in Music from Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, IN, in L.A. was drummer for Stevie Wonder, L.L. Cool J., performed on Saturday Night Live with Snoop Dogg, recorded with Bone Thugs (World's Enemy CD - 8 tracks), drummed also for Hank Ballard & Midnighters, coasters, Jean Carne, Miki Howard, Scott Ellison, Roy Haines, worked at Capitol Records in marketing, did initial negotiations for Bootsy's Rubber Band at Hardwood Acres, Aug of 2015. President of Jingles U Love, writing jingles for TV/radio and internet.
Artist or Fan
artist, industry professional

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Kai Ballard's Blog

The Stemtecs: Kai Ballard, Calvin Stemley, Keith Flowers and Kenny Piersaint at Backstage Bar, Friday, July 22, 5 - 7:30

Posted on July 20, 2016 at 1:43am 0 Comments

Hi everyone, back at the Backstage Bar by popular demand!  Friday, July 22, 5 - 7:30 performing music by Stevie Wonder (whom I drummed for back in the day), Steely Dan, Kirk Whalum, etc.  Come on out for some great music, food and beverages. 

Jazz on the Steps with Kai Ballard, Calvin Stemley, Keith Flowers and Kenzie!!

Posted on June 6, 2016 at 3:23am 0 Comments

We're doing it again at Jaki Young's Jazz on the Steps at Carnegie Library, Homewood, this Wednesday, June 8, 5:30 - 7.  We will perform music of Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, David Sanborn.  It's going to be a wonderful day for music.  Come and enjoy.

Kai Ballard, Eric Johnson and Dan Wasson

Posted on May 9, 2016 at 6:55pm 1 Comment

Hi, Eric, Dan and I are performing May 14, 7-10 at the Wicked Fox. Come out and here some great jazz and old pop tunes.  

Kai Ballard's Upcoming Gigs

Posted on April 12, 2016 at 1:54am 0 Comments

April 15, 5-7:30, Backstage Bar with Calvin Stemley, Keith Flowers, Kenjie and myself.  This is a great group that Iove playing with performing music of Herbie, Stevie, Steely and others.  

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