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.
I feel blessed to know you and there are many here who feel a close kinship to you and Rhonda. Derrick continues to bring good people together and there have been over a dozen new members who found us and each other because of him. The extended love we are sharing is a healing force not only for us but for many whom we may never know.
thankyou Sonja for letting me know about your daugther. I pray every night that Rhonda gets back to her normal life. Im pc illiterate & i too am not on everyday. Working 7p-7a is really stressfull sometimes, but as i look at the ones that need my help all i can do is keep moving and thank God that im not in there shoes. A smile, a caring touch,and a little tenderness is all they ever want. Don't get me wrong, i love my job because i believe that this is what God wants me to do & no matter how bad off my pt. are they are still people who needs my help. Help them as you want to be treated. Again please tell Ronda how sorry i am and that she WILL recover. Unfortuntly the body is very weak and the trauma she suffered takes time to heal. Stay possitive and have faith, because it could be worse. I'll never see Derrick again but he's in my heart and always a vision in my mind. His picture is on my porch with his dad for me to see everyday i come home. He' my angle and my protector and will be yours also. Again thankyou for keeping me and my family informed of Rhonda's progress and know that the candles r lite EVERYDAY for her speedy recovery. "This to shall pass".
Your comments on this blog and your beautiful spirit are providing comfort and inspiration to so many who knew and love Derrick. There is a growing circle of prayer and love surrounding Rhonda and you from many whom you may never meet but whom you have touched deeply. May God continue to bless you and give you peace as Rhonda proceeds on her miraculous journey back to perfect health.
This is such good news. We will continue to visualize her smiling face and send prayers and love to her. Every time I drive now I think of Derrick and Rhonda... two good and beautiful people... who met accidentally on the road. Two people who by their sacrifice and hardship have increased the love and care shared among thousands who otherwise would not have known each other at all. Thank you for the updates.