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

Greetings and salutations good people!

I am so excited about the gigs I have coming up, and I hope you will be as well! If you don't know about them, allow me to share the knowledge!

Tomorrow on Saturday April 21, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., I am singing at the Backstage Bar at CLO Cabaret located at 655 Penn Ave, in Pittsburgh's Cultural District, beside Theater Square at Katz Plaza. There is no cover charge and I will be playing in that darling little bar with Miguel Sague III (conga) and Tony DePaolis (bass). Come check us out while you get your game face on for the homegame of Pirates vs Cardinals, cuz nothing says "We're going to a ball game in Pittsburgh!" like martinis and jazz with Phat Man Dee! Avast ye mateys, beware jazz lass Phat Man Dee and the impending victory of the Pittsburgh Pirates! No cover, all ages, light menu.

On a decidedly odder note, I don't know if you have been following the drama concerning the Pittsburgh Freak of the Year contest, but for the past 3 months Andrew the Impaled has been hosting a weekly contest to find Pitttsburgh's freakiest citizens.

The finale is next Wednesday April 25 at the Lava Lounge, 2204 E Carson St, in

the South Side of Pittsburgh. Showtime is 9 pm, no cover and it is a 21 and over event. Sponsors have included Fireball Whiskey, El Jays Books and more. Finalists include Macabre Noir, Scott Bobincheck, Deville D'Eggs, Tommy Amoeba and even (I am so shocked to say) me, and many others.... I didn't mean to compete, truly it was an accident, I just saw it as a way to swing a free sausage sandwich... See if you compete, you get a complimentary beverage from the bar, and while I am not much of an alcohol drinker, I do like a fine link of hot sausage... So I thought, hey, Andrew needs to fill some time, David Apocalypse is in town for a real estate deal and making a cameo appearance and I began to feel nostalgic for the good old days when I was a freak in a travelling punk rawk circus side show..... and I remembered the pain of being actually on the road in that show and in my rose coloured and mental time machine, I psychosomatically became hungry, so I asked for a hot sausage instead of a cocktail and proceeded to backwards engineer it into my act..... which ended up as me singing "California Dreaming" while consuming the entire hot sausage on a bun in under 5 minutes. I never intended on winning the weekly competition, I never wanted to compete with the new young beautiful freaks of today's South Side, like Macabre Noir or Tommy Amoeba.... but I got a perfect score against a lovely girl who could touch her tongue to her nose and a gentlemen who turned his ball cap around..... so if you would like to see me compete against glass walking burlesque queens, boylesque stars and men who can spin weights from their nether regions, stop on down next Wed April 25, 2012 to the Lava Lounge.... Someone has to win $500, and hey, it could be me!

Check out the article I wrote about it on NakYouOut!

So, if you know anything about me, you know I like certain things, I like jazz, I like freaks, and I like fire....

Goddess bless Pittsburgh, this next week has it all! I am so glad I am alive in 2012.....Next Saturday is Pyrotopia , Pittsburgh area’s First Annual Festival of Fire Arts!

I am co-emceeing the event with my good friend, the Prince of Pierogies himself, Pittsburgh's Premiere Pain Proof Clown, Andrew the Impaled!

Pyrotopia will occur on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at The Historic Pump House & Water Tower, 880 E. Waterfront Drive, Munhall, located at Pittsburgh’s Waterfront. The one-day event is FREE and open to the public. It will be the East Coast’s first-ever festival dedicated entirely to fire arts, presenting fire’s diversity of use by artists and celebrating humankind’s primal fascination with fire. Pyrotopia will entertain, enchant and introduce attendees to the use of fire, as well as electricity and light, as artistic media by showcasing artists employing these elements in many ways.

Programming throughout the day and night will appeal to a wide range of interests and ages.

Workshops, demonstrations, and other fire-related programming will take place during the day on Saturday, with live fire art and events on Saturday night. All day and early evening activities will be appropriate for children and families.

Festival installations and performers will include:

• Flaming Simon, a fire-driven version of the electronic game "Simon"

created by Pittsburgh artist and Pyrotopia founder Eric Singer.

• Fiery Flamenco Dancing by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, with live musical accompaniment by Jon Bañuelos, James Bond, Luke Savage and Barb York.

• Fire spinners and dancers from Steel Town Fire, Pittsburgh’s premiere fire performance troupe.

• Megavolt Tesla Coil, a six-foot tall Tesla coil created by Pittsburgh engineer Mark Barlow.

• A special ground-effects fireworks show by New Castle’s Pyrotecnico, which orchestrated the dazzling fireworks display at the 2011 Three Rivers Regatta.

• Live demonstrations of fire-related arts, including glassblowing, pewter casting, and plasma torch cutting.

Pyrotopia fb event page:

Pyrotopia website:

As you can see, I am wildly busy, but I am living in righteouscity. I

hope to see you in the aether. (Or at a gig, though the two are not

truly mutually exclusive...)

Love, light and justice,


Are you planning for the future? Here are some May dates to save:

May 4, 2012

Burlesque A Pades with Angie Pontani at Jergels in Warrendale!

May 19, 2012

Atrocity Exhibition: Phantasmagoria at the Rex in South Side!

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