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

Homestead Jazz, Blues, & Arts Festival

Honor the Past / Renew the Present / Build the Future

The first annual Homestead Jazz, Blues, & Arts Festival, Honoring Maxine Sullivan will be held on Saturday, September 6th and Sunday, September 7th at the Homestead Community Park in Homestead PA . 

ANEW Community Institute is putting together this festival as a kick-off event for our new program to create an arts-based local economy in the community.
After the festival, we will be working to create new venues for music and the arts,  provide more jobs for the unemployed, and increase opportunities for arts lovers and music lovers alike! It is time for the families on the community side of the tracks to experience revitalization, too!

The festival will feature art, crafts, music and poetry. This year, it will also honor the legendary Maxine Sullivanborn Marietta Williams in Homestead in 1911—and considered to be one of the best jazz vocalists of the mid 20th-century.

Additionally, on Saturday the 6th, the ANEW Women Rising Concert in memory of Ka'Sandra Wade—a victim of domestic violence in Pittsburgh—will be held under the Homestead Grays Bridge.

The festival benefits the community of Homestead by bringing top notch entertainment that can be enjoyed by the whole family, but also by showing visitors that Homestead has much to offer as a place to visit and live!

The weekend will be jam packed (no pun intended)! In additional to amazing and beautiful art available at the ANEW Artists Collective Exhibit by Elizabeth Asche Douglas and others, including Rex Trimm's blown glass saxophone that really plays.  There's a fantastic lineup of some of the best local jazz and blues artists in the Pittsburgh area, including:

Saturday, September 6th:

Sunday, September 7th:

  • Velvet Heat:  {2 - 3pm}

  • The Gospel Roots of Jazz and Blues, featuring Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington Chorale:  {3 - 3:45pm}

  • Michele Bensen:  {4 - 5pm}

  • “Presente! Maxine Sullivan, the Diva of Homestead” (Featuring Betty Douglas and the Pittsburgh Women in Jazz Orchestra, Musical Director Donna Davis, the High Priestess of Jazz):  {5:30 - 7pm}

  • Roger Humphries & RH Factor:  {7:30 - 8:45pm}

Sponsors Include: The Blue Dust, Stay Tuned, The Borough of Homestead, The New Pittsburgh Courier, Kevin Amos and One to One/Jazz Corner, Douglas Studio, Homestead Borough Council President Lloyd Cunningham, James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, Zerofossil, Tin Front Cafe', Mayor Betty Esper, Nancy Bernstein, Louise and Michael Malakoff, Faith Eaton, and the Borough of Homestead.

We really need your support! All sponsors contributing $50 or more will receive tickets to attend our special Meet the Artists Soiree on Friday at Tin Front Cafe', hosted by David Lewis and Thaddeus Moseley. Doors open at 6:30 PM.

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Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on September 2, 2014 at 10:25pm

Thank you Paula. We are honored to have you be aware of this tribute and perhaps next time with more notice you can be here to represent your mother. I am honored to have been on the same show with her at S & S Memorial Hall in 1975.  That is where I witnessed her playing Roy Eldridge's trumpet quite well.  Also I invite you to use your page on this network to help us tell your mother's story to the world at large in a more personal way as only you can do. ok?  Snapshots, sounds and even video you may have can all be uploaded to the page.

Comment by Paula Morris on September 2, 2014 at 8:52pm

Dr. Harrison, I am a good friend of Melissa Jones. I also take classes  with Dr. Larry Ridley at Swing University at Jazz At Lincoln Center. He mentions you often in class.

Paula Morris


Comment by Paula Morris on September 2, 2014 at 8:32pm

I am most grateful and appreciative that Homestead and especially Maryellen Deckard are honoring my mother on this momentous occasion. Unfortunately I am not able to attend due to a previous commitment. I wish you all the very best for continued success and to promote and preserve the jazz legacy in Homestead.

Paula Morris

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