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.
28 Year Resident of Pittsburgh area (Forest Hills)
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
Roger Humphries, Gene Ludwig, Sandy Staley, Michelle Benson, Luther DeJarunett, Sean Jones, Tim Stevens, and Joe Harris
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
pittsburgh jazz channel
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
Little E's and the Backstage Bar
I have been playing drums professionally for many years, with a variety of groups and in a variety of different styles. I've played in Boston, Cincinnati, Dayton, and here in Pittsburgh, Jazz is my favorite genre, and I am working my way into the Pittsburgh jazz scene. I have been very fortunate to work with Roger Barbour, Tim Stevens, Lee Robinson, Pgh. Big Band Legends, Don Aliquo, Jerry Luccarelli and Ron Wilson over the last year to name a few.
Seeing you (Friday night 11-20-09) drum in the Christmas season in the Roger Barbour Quartet at 5th Avenue Place in "duntuwn" Pittsburgh was great!! I know Santa is going to bring us all better presents because you got us keepin' the beat just right! sincerely yours Dr Bruce & youtube.com/drfbm...
Thanx for the kind words. I had a great time at the Frick and I am actively looking for a way to return to Pittsburgh! The audience was a very appreciative one and I am extremely appreciative of that!!! Hope all is well.
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