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 the Incredibly talented Sophisticated Lady Phyllis Hyman

Pittsburgh Music History

Honoring the Incredibly Talented Sophisticated Lady

Phyllis Hyman

Read her story at Pittsburgh Music History

Enjoy 30 great songs on the Phyllis Hyman Legacy Playlist

Read the joyful and tragic story of her life.  She rose from being a school choir singer in Pittsburgh to the top of the record charts and Broadway stardom.  Blessed with a once in a lifetime incredible singing voice and statuesque beauty she was cursed with crippling bi-polar disease.  The range of extreme joy and deep sadness that she felf are reflected in the legacy of her great heartfelt recordings that are memorialized on 22 compilations.





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Comment by Paul Carosi on February 17, 2012 at 6:24pm

I lost a friend suddenly to bi-polar disease.  I spoke with her two weeks before she took her life.  She was on a high excited about a new venture.  Her mood shifted and she was gone in a moment of great dispare.  I still can't believe it after 15 years.

Comment by Kevin Hurst, Sr. on February 17, 2012 at 5:55pm

Oh I did not know she had developed that disease! it is tough to accept and having a vocation where you have to travel is even tougher for treatment. Jaco Pastorius had that same problem and anyone can develop it anytime. It may even be inherited so folks should check their risk factors. A band leader I played with knew her and kept her picture in his business office- Still hard to believe she is gone but not forgotten hopefully-


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