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



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Maggie Johnson
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Maggie Johnson's Blog

A new 'space' for jazz

Posted on April 9, 2011 at 9:17pm 0 Comments

Despite the potential loss of our jazz programming station, there are certainly exciting things happening in Pittsburgh jazz these days, which you know. I hope that someday soon, this will be considered one of them:


PJNers, I'd love for you to check out the new website for a project I'm working on, called JAZZSPACE - an emerging artist program that supports the professional and personal development of the next generation…


Advancing the Black Arts in Pittsburgh

Posted on January 8, 2011 at 11:30am 0 Comments


My first blog post on the "Network", whoo hoo! (thank you, thank you very much) Just wanted to make sure everybody knows about this new grant program, Advancing the Black Arts in Pittsburgh. Obviously, jazz qualifies! I think it's exciting and important for us to help this program succeed by stepping up to the plate, submitting strong applications to match strong programs.


First deadline is February 14. Check out the info here:…


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At 4:44am on August 6, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Hey Maggie,

I am so happy to welcome you. i was wondering when you would show up. I look forward to seeing you around town a bit more. there;s a lot of history and annotated artifacts here to keep you up at night.



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