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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.

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words
Sydney Ellis
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About Me:
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been living in Germany for the past 14 years. I sometimes bring Americans over to Europe for tours. This is why I think it would be a good idea to join your jazz network.
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Comment Wall (11 comments)

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At 4:11am on January 30, 2012, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…

I have been in the Pittsburgh area since July of 2010 and lived here 30 yrs ago in college. There are a number of spots in downtown alone and I have not been to most but Little E's is a small upstairs place I come to listen and sit in when invited. The Savoy on Penn Ave. has Jazz Mon nights. CJs in the Strip district is a larger room not as plush. The Jazz society has a new home in downtown and they have regular live music I can't remember the name. Dr. Nelson Harrison would probably know all the places you could play. Penn Brewery is a good venue on the Northside which has more blues type music and nothing is far the closer you get to downtown. There are many clubs on the southside but do not have much jazz. I get invited to many events but am in between jobs and can not go to all. I'll look some more and thank you for considering me and I would love to see you here! i don't think you will have any problems performing here as long as you are honest and original!- kev Oh I forgot the Thunderbird cafe has live music 3 or 4 nights a week and some 3 or 4 bands on a weekend night. Of course they are rock/pop groups that don't know many tunes lol and some are good because they don't play long LOL-  I would play with you there for the experience! 

At 7:15pm on January 1, 2009, Bruce C said…
Phaabulous indeed.....Clevelands loss is Germanys' gain...used to go to Cleveland a lot from KSU in the 60's (way before your time..i'm sure...) show in the May Show in the Cleveland Museum of Art...totally love your music...well done all around...thank yous so much for shining your light so brightly...lots of Germans come to Maine...if you ever come this way Maine in the summer is a great music venue all around...all my best to you and all those in your life...always b
At 5:43pm on October 27, 2008, Muddy Kreek Blues Band said…
Hey Sydney, whats the blues market like over there? I'd love to play over there someday..
At 10:37am on September 9, 2008, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Thanks!- my cousin has been trying to get me over there and i really should visit her and her family. Kevin Hurst
At 9:31am on September 9, 2008, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Hey Sydney it was nice you commented so soon! I know Dusseldorf - famous for the hot mustard- But her mother told me years ago Dassendorf! Also I was not putting the german musicians down, it was she whom implied they could not play by ear. She dos not really know a lot about music and she played clarinet in the school band as I did growing up. The thing is people really think reading music is the thing but James Earl Jones and great actors act like they are not reading and that is what music is supposed to be. Thoughts and ideas emanate from the mind and are committed to paper. You learn language by hearing then you go to school to read and write. Nathan Davis says Jazz is misunderstood because there is no real system of writing it out. True blues is jazz and true jazz is blues. That is why Joe Zawinul and other great european musicians came to USA to play with black musicians. In Europe the best jazz musicians played with visiting or expatriate americans- Fly me to Deutscheland!.Dankeshoen?- Herr Kevin Hurst, (Kevin is irish, Hurst is german) LOL
At 7:49pm on September 8, 2008, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
Thanx for the response and the add. My cousin Linda Beuchner is a performer in german- speaking areas, I believe she lives in Dassendorf. Went there in 'Bubbling Brown Sugar in the middle 80s and was married to Klaus , a folk musician. She says Europe is tha bomb! A friend of mine on Pandora radio says the same thing as her brother lives in Switzerland. In 1990 Linda came home and had a broadway -style musical because she wanted to showcase home talent and said the german musicians could not learn 'by ear' . All musicians 'play by ear' and she says iIcould make a living just blowing a horn. Education comes in handy as most I have mentioned are! She had met expatriates like Arnett Cobb a Texas Tenor and never heard of him because she did not know anything about jazz! She learned more in europe and she went there in a show of Duke's music.Jelly's Last Jam was JellyRollMorton or Fats Waller' show, most peoply myage do nnot know whom these greats are!-Kev Hurst
At 12:30pm on August 19, 2008, Sydney Ellis said…
Hi Sean,

I moved to Los Angeles first, stayed there about 6 years. The music scene was very closed, only certain people were hired, so my husband and I decided to move to Europe and try music there. It has paid off very well. We have been here for 14 years and do not plan on moving back to the states.

When you come over let me know.
Sydney
At 5:06pm on August 18, 2008, sean jones said…
Sydney,

Thanks for the love!! Moving from Cleveland to Europe is a big change. Hope to see you sometime in the future.

Sean
At 1:09pm on July 28, 2008, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Welcome Sydney,

You will find some exciting talent here and some good prospects for you to bring to Europe. We are so happy to have you with us.
At 10:51am on July 28, 2008, Sydney Ellis said…
Hi Elli,
Thanks for your comment.

I live in Europe but some of my family still live in Cleveland. I visit there once a year for a couple of weeks.

To come to Europe I need musicians since I am a singer.

Sydney

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