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

Pittsburgh Music History Honoring Guitar Great Jimmy Ponder who passed away yesterday

Pittsburgh Music History

Honoring Guitar Great Jimmy Ponder

who passed away yesterday

Views: 232


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Cecilio Valdez Washington on September 22, 2013 at 1:41am

So sorry to hear about Jimmy passing.  I am glad I had the opportunity to perform with such a brilliant musician.  Condolences to his family.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 21, 2013 at 3:28am

Though he will be missed by many, Jimmy will live on in our hearts, our memories and forever in our music. R.I.P dear brother.

Comment by Kennard Roosevelt Williams on September 21, 2013 at 1:53am

I'll miss you Fats...RIP

Comment by Roby "Supersax" Edwards on September 19, 2013 at 10:53pm
I loved the Man, a genius and not just of music but of life. He had an understanding of life and living in the Now. The lessons I took from him transcended music and of course his musical influence..enormous, life altering. I remember that first crushing handshake at Too Sweet after hearing the greatest guitar playing I've ever heard in person and still to this day unsurpassed, except by him on other occasions. I am not where am and going without knowing this great Man. Pittsburgh! Do you know? There will never be another Jimmy Ponder!
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 19, 2013 at 9:01pm

Jimmy Ponder: 1946-2013

Legendary jazz guitarist Jimmy Ponder recenetly passed away, having appeared on over 80 recordings with his unique blend of Wes Montgomery octaves and bluesy roots. Ponder released 21 albums as a bandleader since 1969 for labels like Muse, Highnote, Cadet, Explore and LRC.

He began his career with Charles Earland and Lou Donaldson's soul-jazz ensembles and worked as a studio sideman for stars like Etta James, Donald Byrd, Ray Bryant, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and more. He performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Jimmy McGriff, and Sonny Stitt among many others.

Comment by Barry Boyd on September 18, 2013 at 8:51pm

What a loss to the musical world. A true artist and great person. The gigs I did with Jimmy were definitely one of the high points of my life.  You will truly be missed.

Comment by Ken Lamison on September 18, 2013 at 10:56am
Jimmy will be remembered forever. He taught me much about guitar, music and life. Peace and Love, brother.
Comment by Stan Gilmer on September 18, 2013 at 1:30am

I knew Jimmy from Newark when he moved there years ago. He was a very positive brother and not a self hater like so many others I ran into. Always encouraged me and came to see me perform many times. May his spirit live on forever. Stan Gilmer.

Comment by jean tate on September 18, 2013 at 1:02am

So sorry to hear of Jimmy's passing.   Spent a lot of pleasant times together before  I left Town.    My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.   RIP  Fats

© 2024   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service