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

Friends, as we enter into the final month of 2016 I am taking a moment to breathe. I had it tattooed on my hand, many years ago, that word, "BREATHE" so I would always remember as a vocalist to breathe. When you don't breathe, you strain your vocal folds, and you can't sing without breath. Without breath, there is no song and there is no life. So, I am breathing and thinking of you. If you are reading this on my google groups email list, if you get this on my blog, or my Phat Man Dee facebook page, or if you listen to my random stream of consciousness ravings on twitter and instagram, or on my blog on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.... thank you. Thank you for reading it and caring about me and my work as an artist. You are the reason I do this. You are the reason I don't lay down and just stay there watching Star Trek re-runs and Doctor Who Christmas specials and listen to Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and just rage into the night alone with a bowl of curried pierogies in a room filled with jasmine incense..... Some days it's very hard to get up and function and do the gig and sing the thing, but I know there are people out there who want to hear me sing that next song, and I am so grateful that you are one of them. I am working hard to maintain clarity and keep beaming out joy. I invite you to be part of that which I am creating and be a light in the darkness that shines forth with a message of radical inclusion, equity, love and extreme tolerance! Now more than ever we need to stand up and be heard that we are one people and we are Jewish, we are Muslim, we are Christian, we are Pagans, we are Druids, we are SubGenius, we are Indigenous people with traditions and heritage as meaningful as any and all of these, and we are also agnostic. We are Black, White, Yellow, Brown, and also we are Straight, Lesbian, we are Gay, we are Bisexual, we are Transgender, we are Intersex and Asexual. We are old, we are young, we are abled and disabled, and we are all human and have basic human rights and in this country basic Constitutional rights. But we needed to fight for those rights before we got them, and we need to defend them and we must not be afraid. So in the spirit of fighting white supremacy and fascism, I am liberally applying multi ethnic holiday jazz combined with the power of beautiful women dancing and I am creating an evening I really hope you attend. 

Saturday December 10, 2016


I shall croon and belt seasonal classics to accompany the performances of Pittsburgh’s most delightful darlings of dance, Macabre NoirLita D’VargasHakan Dances and The Hamer Sisters - Maria and Christine! 

Dancing dreidels! Candy cane wielding elves! Extreme burlesque Grinch over dramatizations! 

Live music provided by members of the Cultural District - Carlos Peña, Jesse PrentissJeremy PapayMiguel Sague III and Langston Kelly

The Funhouse is the small new venue inside of Mr Smalls at 400 Lincoln Ave, Millvale, PA

Doors 8 pm, Show at 9 pm, 21 and over

Tickets $15 for general admission and $25 for VIP guaranteed seating close to the stage, includes a  a special holiday gift! 

Make it an entire evening with dinner and snacks, locals beers on tap and effervescently refreshing cocktails! 

Free hugs for the holiday from ME after the show! 

I even made a promo video!

Tickets available now:

Facebook event page: 

 Right now I am also building, with my old friend Liz Berlin, a recording project "Social Justice Disco: Songs to Fight Fascists By"! 

We really need your help to make it the way we truly envision it, we want to pay the musicians and we have to pay the studio time and we want to promote it to the absolute best of our abilities, and we just need some help. We have been blessed that we have raised 10% of our goal so far, but we need alot more and we hoped that between the two of us, with our extensive fan bases, if everyone chipped in just a little bit, we could fund this, but we need help financially and also with spreading the word. We went on Lynn Cullen Show this week to sing some of the songs from it and also talk about why it is such an important project for us to complete. Check out the video! 


Recently we had a terrifying upset..... I didn't take for granted that Secretary Clinton would defeat Donald Trump. But I hoped. I hoped there were more of us then there are of them.... and there are. Almost 2 million of us. So that gives me hope. In addition to my work creating events and live performances, I am still teaching at both Afro American Music Institute and the We Rock Workshop. I am also still singing with my old friend Pastor Deryck Tines and the Lemington Gospel Chorale. I will be singing in the choir on Saturday December 3, at Bethlehem Baptist located at 716 Walnut Street, McKeesport. Here are the details, tickets are $10, the event is from 6-9 p.m. and we will be recording a set of immensely powerful music. The choir is about 45 members strong and the median age is 75. You will not want to miss this! VIP tickets available as well for $35, for more information:

Have a blessed thanksgiving and hold in your hearts and be ready to act in defense of those who need it, I have friends out in North Dakota right now and I am terrified for them but then I have friends here in Pittsburgh and I am terrified for them as well, so you and I, we must all stay strong and be ready to use music and rhythm, words and action to be our swords and shields in the face of hatred and injustice.


Much love, 

Phat Man Dee

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