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, raised & currently living, performing and teaching in Pittsburgh
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Too many to mention and I don't want to leave anybody out.
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
A respected and active guitarist, composer, and educator in the Pittsburgh area, Ken Karsh has been involved in music since he began playing guitar at the age of 9. His guitar instructors included Tom Mester, Denny Cameron, the late Alex Radulesco and Joe Negri. He attended Berklee College of Music and received his B.M. & M.M. in performance at Duquesne University. While at Duquesne University, Karsh studied composition with Joseph Jenkins and jazz composition with Michael Tomaro. He has performed with Jimmy McGriff, Barry Miles, Spider Rondinelli, Eric Kloss, Bobby McFerrin, Lee Konitz, Larry Elgart, Joe Negri, Joey DeFrancesco, “Papa John” DeFrancesco, Jack McDuff, Gene Ludwig, Bernadette Peters, the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra (performing on Mandolin), Nathan Davis, Michael Gibbs, and Angel Romero. Karsh was the guitarist for numerous Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera musical theater productions, including Jesus Christ, Superstar, Chess, Chicago, A Chorus Line, Parade (composed by Jason Robert Brown, who also conducted), Fiddler On The Roof (performing on guitar and mandolin), Copacabana (composed by Barry Manilow) and recently The Lion King (at the Benedum Theatre with Gazelle Company). In 1981, Karsh was the electric guitar soloist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Andre Previn’s Concerto For Guitar And Orchestra. He has been featured on recordings with Bobby McFerrin, Gene Ludwig, Nathan Davis, Eric Kloss, Jimmy Sapienza, Arnold Sterling, Darryl Alexander, Lisa Ferraro, and the Wheeling Symphony. Karsh is a faculty member at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and a faculty member at the Duquesne University Summer Guitar Workshop. Karsh is a member of the Duquesne University faculty guitar ensemble Catch 22 and is featured, along with his colleagues Bill Purse, Mark Koch, and Jeff Mangone on their CDs Reappearance and Sly On Life. Karsh’s composition Sly On Life, the title track of Catch 22’s new CD release, was featured on the Black Entertainment Television network (BET) and on WQED’s On Q television program (both performances by Catch 22). His arrangements and etudes are featured in the Mel Bay and Warner Bros. publications, Jazz Guitar Standards (2002) and Jazz Guitar Standards: Chord Melody Solos and Mel Bay’s Guitar Journals: Jazz. Karsh has authored two textbooks for guitar: Jazz Scale Workout (Mel Bay Publications) and Fingerboarding Made EZ: Scale & Arpeggio Visualization for Guitar (self published). Karsh has recently released a CD of his own compositions and jazz standards entitled Ventana and is currently preparing for his second CD. Karsh is an endorser for Brockman Guitars, Mendoza Classical Guitars andFender Musical Instruments. lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Andrea and their two children Alana and Aaron.
Hey Ken, It's Richard Williams communicating with you about your availability for private evaluation for lessons! Hey leave me a message on my wall when it would be favorable for you! Thanks a Million!!! See you at AVA on Mondays!
You are helping to get 2009 off to a great start for us. this is our collective voice where you can self-promote, review, blog, communicate directly and express yourself without censorship. It is also a place where your students can find a community that will nourish their growth. Welcome home!
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