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

Honoring Marvin Hamlisch's contributions to the Pittsburgh Pops

Pittsburgh Music History


Marvin Hamlisch

Innovative Principal Conductor of the Pittsburgh Pops


The Pittsburgh Music History Website honors Marvin Hamlisch's 17 year career guiding the Pittsburgh Pops.  Here in Pittsburgh he perfected an innovative a new theatrical entertainment form aimed at popular music fans.  Marvin expanded the audiences of the Pittsburgh Symphony helping the PSO to thrive and grow when other American symphonies struggled to survive.  With his success in Pittsburgh the symphonies of Dallas, San Diego, Washington and other cities called on Marvin to rejuvenate their Pops concerts series.  Using local and national musicians and his charming wit he brought great joy to Pops concert audiences across America. Read the story of his time with the Pittsburgh Pops at Pittsburgh Music History

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Comment by Roberta Jean Windle on August 12, 2012 at 4:52pm

Pittsburgh is certainly blessed to have had such a talent . There will never be another.


Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 12, 2012 at 3:06am

I had the singular pleasure of performing with Marvin and the PSO Pops Orchestra at Heinz Hall in 1998 as the pianist for the Boilermaker Jazz Band which was featured during the concert with the orchestra.  It was humorously ironic that the orchestra pianist was my high school buddy Patricia Prattis Jennings, one of the country's and certainly the PSO & PSO Pops orchestras' legendary pianists for 36 years.  I would never presume to consider myself a pianist in her presence (trombone being my strong suit), but it was a lot of fun.  Also playing bass with the BJB was Ernest McCarty, Jr., Erroll Garner's last bassist.  Marvin jammed with us at rehearsal and stated enthusiastically that Erroll was his favorite pianist of all time.

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