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
Who loves the written word or a pair of pasties more than me? If you like the turning of a page or a shimmy and a shake, you should totally make it to both my shows this weekend.... If you don't like these things, I don't know how exactly you ended up on this list, or reading this blog, but I'm happy you are here, and hope we at Phat Man Dee Productions may enlighten you to the beauty of flesh and language.

This Friday May 13th I am emceeing and singing at the Rex Theater! We are hosting a great night featuring visiting burlesque beauties from Baltimore!
Baltimore’s Sticky Buns Burlesque troupe is performing at the Rex Theater for a Friday the 13th Masquerade Ball. Sticky Buns specializes in unique theatrical striptease with sexy, comedic commentary. They’ll be performing with local jazz singer Phat Man Dee and the Bridge City Bombshells. The show is part of the “Burlesque at the Rex” series. Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 day-of-show, and to fit with the Friday the 13th Masquerade Ball, $13 in costume. Advanced ticket-holders will be refunded $2 at the door if in costume. Doors open 8:00 PM; show begins 9:00 PM and will be done by 11:30 pm, so if you're coming, buy your ticket now, come in costume for partial refund, and be on time. It's gonna be super hot and sticky sweet, I want you to enjoy every sugary drop!

Tickets are available here:
Facebook event page:
The Rex is located at, 1602 E. Carson St., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the South Side

Once upon a time there was a wonderful used bookstore in the South Side, always full of cheap wonderful books that opened in my brain worlds I could never have imagined. Now I am older and have traveled a little more, I understand what it really was, affordable access to the wormhole of adventure without which I would be a sad and ignorant dullard. I was very out of sorts when ElJays Books left South Side, but luckily for us they have moved into some beautiful new digs in Dormont and they have more books than EVER! I am singing at their Grand Re Opening this Saturday and I want YOU to be there! No cover charge and cheap books everywhere!

Saturday, May 14 · 6:00pm - 8:00pm at Eljay's Books
3233 West Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in Dormont
Free event!

Come celebrate Eljay's Grand Reopening. We're full of books and ready to party. We just need you. (And your family and friends, and their family and friends etc... Music from the lovely Tommy Amoeba and even lovelier Phat Man Dee, with appearances by Andrew the Impaled, Christine Andrews of Zafira, poet Jerome Crooks and Professor EmCee Squared of the It's Alive Show promised to stop by and show off his spooky car! Cheap Books! Food and Drink More Books! Door Prizes And did we mention all the Books?

Lastly, if you are reading this on Wednesday May 11, 2011, the day I am composing it (I love and fear the immediacy of the internet) please note that today is a Pittsburgh is Art's Day of Giving. Basically, if you can give any $$ to the smaller organizations who help keep our culture unique and fresh in Pittsburgh, today is the day, because GPAC has put together a powerful coalition of folks who are willing to match all donations up to $400,000. You know, I was thinking today about some of the wonderful things people have said to me or gifted me with over the years because they like my music and the shows I produce and I was thinking about how lucky we as a region are to have so much talent here with such a supportive environment, and how it is the smaller organizations that really keep it all moving. If you can, check out the website and send some $$ to a group you like.

Here are some more details:

Pittsburgh is Art Day of Giving will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.
This is a 24-hour opportunity for the Pittsburgh community to support our thriving arts and culture sector. Initiated by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council (GPAC) and the Heinz Endowments, it is sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation and modeled after their October 2010 Pittsburgh Gives initiative. With the help of funding partners such as The Benedum Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, The Grable Foundation and the Hillman Foundation, a $400K+ matching pool will be available to over 130 local arts and culture organizations. It is the perfect time to support smaller non-profits and help them stretch their funding a little further. Visit on May 11th, to show your support for groups like the ToonSeum or the work of Creative.Life.Support, the not for profit arm of Mr. Smalls Funhouse or Pittsburgh Filmmakers or any other large number of wonderful groups who work hard every day to keep art alive and kicking in our beautiful city.

Next week on Saturday May 21, 2011, I am singing some original songs I have been keeping under my hat about ghosts and robots at the Grand Midway Hotel in Windber, PA. It's going to be a ridiculous event. Other acts and speakers include:
Devilz in the Detailz, Michelle Belanger, Bridge City Bombshells, Catherine S Cox, Damien Youth, Adam Blai, The Cadillac Creeps, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Chad Hammit, Nova is tending bar, and Ghost hunting will be permitted. A hotel tour will be part of the experience... Buy your tickets now, and I am sure the in house's hotel rooms are being used for all the out of town guests, but I am sure there are reasonably priced hotels in very nearby Johnstown.

The following Wednesday May 25, 2011 I am singing with Stevee Wellons of Smooth Groove, we are singing back up for Christiane D's new project!
More info and all the details:

Love, light, burlesque, books and vampires! Happy May everybody!

PS I would like to add that the above writing is dedicated to my mother, Sally Baker Kivowitz. She is a wonderful writer and teacher. Currently living in Chinle, AZ she is teaching special needs children on the Navajo reservation. She worked has worked very hard my entire life as a teacher, she has worked with college kids, inner city special needs youth, prisoners and now rurally based special needs kids. She fought in the Civil Rights marches in Oklahoma in the 60's and has always instilled in us a sense of social justice. She is a special lady and I have much to thank her for. I wish I could buy her a hot tub and a decent retirement plan, but in lieu of being able to do either of those things I would like to publicly say, thanks Mom, for loving and supporting me just the way I am and not how I was "supposed to be".

Views: 24


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2022   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service