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

African American Music Institute Mural Museum Celebrating Legendary Jazz Musician Ahmad Jamal

AAMI Mural Museum for Ahmad Jamal


July 1, 2023



African American Music Institute Mural Museum Celebrating Legendary Jazz Musician Ahmad Jamal

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — July 6, 2023 — The African American Music Institute (AAMI) is thrilled to announce the painting of a captivating Mural Museum, showcasing a stunning mural of the late jazz icon, Ahmad Jamal, in honor of his birthday week. The museum, painted by acclaimed artist Kyle Holbrook in collaboration with Serena English, will pay tribute to the lifetime achievements of the iconic musician and feature a QR code linking to a fundraising campaign for the AAMI's future performance space extension.

Born on July 2, 1930, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ahmad Jamal was one of the most successful small-group leaders in jazz history, earning the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. His musical contributions spanned six decades, inspiring countless musicians worldwide. Tragically, Ahmad Jamal passed away on April 16, 2023, leaving a profound impact on the world of jazz and Pittsburgh's rich music history.

AAMI Mural Museum, located at 7131 Hamilton Ave., Pittsburgh, will be showcased on July 6, 2023, at 11 AM. The momentous occasion will gather admirers of Ahmad Jamal and jazz enthusiasts to celebrate the legacy of this iconic figure.

The centerpiece of the Mural Museum will be the breathtaking portrait of Ahmad Jamal, painted live by artist Kyle Holbrook during his birthday week. The mural will capture the essence of his musical prowess and his invaluable contributions to African American music. Serena English's creative touches will add depth and vibrancy to the artistic masterpiece.

Moreover, the museum serves a greater purpose as it marks the announcement of AAMI's new extension, which will be named after the late Ahmad Jamal. This extension will provide a dedicated performance space for aspiring young musicians, carrying forward the legacy of excellence fostered by AAMI for the past 40 years.


Pam Johnson and Dr. James Johnson founded the African American Music Institute in 1983 with a mission to provide educational opportunities, inspiration, and services to the community. The institute has been instrumental in shaping the lives of countless young musicians from the Pittsburgh area, empowering them to make an impact in the world through their music.

AAMI calls upon jazz enthusiasts, music lovers, and community members to join in the celebration of Ahmad Jamal's life and support the fundraising campaign for the future extension. The QR code on the Mural will offer a convenient way to contribute to this significant endeavor and continue the legacy of nurturing young talents.

For media inquiries and more information about the event, please contact:

Press Contact:

Name: Kyle Holbrook


Join us on July 6th as we showcase the Mural Museum, a testament to the greatness of Ahmad Jamal and a step towards a brighter future for young musicians at the African American Music Institute.


About African American Music Institute (AAMI)

Founded in 1983 by Pam Johnson and Dr. James Johnson, AAMI has been at the forefront of providing educational services and opportunities for the Pittsburgh community for four decades. Its mission is to inspire and uplift through the power of music, fostering young talents and preserving the legacy of African American musical heritage.

About Artist Kyle Holbrook

Kyle Holbrook is a renowned artist known for his stunning and socially relevant murals that adorn numerous cities across the United States. His work often captures the essence of historical figures and significant cultural events, leaving an indelible mark on the communities he touches.

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