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



       In Her Own Words

Kennard Roosevelt Williams's Blog (4)


I have written and produced a song which honors Mothers Day. It is my hope that all Pittsburgh Jazz Network members will take the time to download this song to your pages, and share it with your children, families and friends. There is no charge; it is my gift to you regarding this important day.



Added by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on April 24, 2009 at 9:00pm — 1 Comment

THE MUSICAL HILL...conclusion

At fifteen, I decided to learn to play guitar. My influences were Joe Negri and George Benson. Both were amazingly talented...way back then. As I see it, both are largely responsible for the growing number of guitar players from Pittsburgh. But it was George and I who had hustled through Center Avenue that afternoon, straight to his house and on to his music room where I sat and watched in awe as he ripped through single-string runs at astonishing speeds, and with unbelievable ease...way back… Continue

Added by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on March 12, 2009 at 10:00pm — 3 Comments


The Irene Kaufmann Settlement, which provided summer programs for children, is where my first encounter with group singing, tap dancing, acting, and moreover, live on-stage activities had occurred. At IKS, nearly all activity was in some way linked to the Arts. It remains to be among the best times of my life. Today that location is known as the Hill House Association.

And McKelvy music teacher Miss Blow...and blow she did; thirty to forty minutes of "sing children," as… Continue

Added by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on January 27, 2009 at 4:30am — 1 Comment


I lived in a second floor apartment at 2173 Webster Avenue. There, amidst all the goins' ons...The Perry Bar, on down to the Crawford Grill #2, shoot over to Center Avenue where there were flourishing far as the eye could see...both ways...both sides; head on down past The Savoy Ballroom, The New Granada Theater, hustle on past the Roosevelt Theater, constantly weaving through an endless flow of moving people until I'd reach The Irene Kaufmann Settlement; turn left on Helman… Continue

Added by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on December 29, 2008 at 1:30pm — 4 Comments

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