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

But I fell out....and up....and all around.....maybe now I should consider falling in.....

So, I send these emails out once a month, right? Unless my dining room ceiling falls in and my mom shatters her ankle and I lose a couple friends in a sadly untimely fashion and I decide to start working in the video department at Mr Smalls Creative.Life.Support and maintain my regular gig schedule.... then apparently I don't write for 3 or 4 months..... I am ok, healthy, if slightly crazed...But the dining room ceiling was fixed by a motley crewe of sideshow marvels, boylesque dancers, drag queens, Christian clowns, and blue haired ukelele players under the careful guidance of an Italian fine artist. Miraculously NOTHING was broken. Not the dried flowers I have from Tommy
Amoeba's father's funeral service, not the wedding pictures,
nothing....It's all really dirty, but it's all intact. However, while my mom is sadly still in a nursing home, on the plus side, she normally lives on the Navajo Nation in Chinle, AZ for 11 out of 12 months a year and I NEVER get to see her but I've been able to see her ALOT in these last couple months. And she caused my uncles to come visit from Tulsa and that was very exciting. The friends I have lost, well, I will miss them a great deal but I have great faith that I shall meet them somewhere in some form a little on down the line and around a couple bends. As far as my video gig at Mr Smalls is concerned, it's been very exciting. I have been studying on and off at Pittsburgh Filmmakers for years now, as I could afford the classes and I've studied with some great teachers there and now I am interning at Mr Smalls Theatre and I'm shooting music and editing video of some incredible artists and there I've found a home to produce my video podcast. I am still seeing my vocal coach Beth Claussen and I am still working out at a gym. I've started a vitamin regimen and am somehow able to maintain this bizarre schedule. I am still a member of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, a new member of the Pittsburgh Arts Council and i even donated to WYEP because I love the Soul Show...

Things I have happening in the immediate future.....I am really excited about this show.....

Creative.Life.Support Revival Series Presents:

“Phat Man Dee’s Cavalcade of Stars N’at!”
When: Thursday October 17th

Doors 6:00PM,  Show 7:00PM
Where:  Mr. Smalls Theatre   400 Lincoln Ave.   Millvale, PA 15209
Cost: Over 21: Free       Under 21: $2.00

Creative Life Support Revival Series and Phat Man Dee Productions have teamed up to bring together the first ever "Show of Shows and Cavalcade of Stars" featuring some of Pittsburgh's finest entertainers. The music performed will be jazz, salsa, gospel, hip hop, and rock n' roll as well as burlesque and bellydance.

This "Cavalcade of Stars N'at" includes:
    •    Phat Man Dee's cabaret jazz group "The Cultural District"
    •    Amoeba Knievel - local rawk n' roll phenomenon
    •    Live Video Feed Performance -  Dr. Colter Harper in Ghana
    •    Machete Kisumontao - Caribbean salsa, vocals by Geña
    •    Reverend Deryck Tines - gospel artist
    •    HollyHood - the sexiest hip hop mc in da'Burgh
    •    J-Pad da Juggernaut - hip hop mc and beats master
    •    Lita D'Vargas – burlesque
    •    Christine Andrews – bellydance
    •    Trixy - fire breathing pick'em up art car by Trundle Manor

The entire event will be filmed for an impending “Phat Man Dee Smallscast”! Phat Man Dee has just joined Mr. Smalls’ vibrant team as a Video Intern and will be celebrating the beginning of her web series with this debut Revival series performance. She looks forward to celebrating local art and music by showcasing it in this digital international showcase! Come and celebrate with the Mr. Smalls family!

The Creative Life Support Revival Series:

The “2013 Revival Series” is a revolutionary model of local showcase where admission is free. Each artist will be distributing free tickets and paid according to how many of their tickets are redeemed at the door. The show starts at 7pm and is free for anyone over 21. Under 21 guests will be charged a measly $2 at the door.

Because in our perfect world:
Shows are free, people show up, bands get paid & local music reigns supreme!

Please register for your free ticket here:

To help spread the news via facebook:

If you register for your free ticket and show up to use it, the band you've chosen to register for will get $1 from the venue in addition to whatever tip $ comes when they pass a hat for each group. So, it costs YOU nothing (unless you're under 21, then it costs you two bucks) but it means something to the performers.

So you can see, I am very happy working at Mr Smalls as I can now produce these crazy shows and we are planning on video taping this one and it is going to be footage for my first ever podcast featuring local artists. Liz Berlin and Mike Speranzo (owners of Mr Smalls) are dong some truly wonderful and exciting things with their venue, music camp for kids in the summer (I am importing footage now from those sessions, the camp looks amazing) and building a beautiful VIP balcony and a restaurant and I feel like I am really part of something locally grown but nationally known beautiful scene, and I just really hope you come to my first show. And I would be remiss in not mentioning that my friend and now boss at Mr Smalls , the lovely and talented Liz Berlin, is having her own show at Mr Smalls the week before mine, it is a similar event, part of the Creative.Life.Support Revival Series and she is also having my friend Frieddi Price close out the night. She is an incredible singer, as I hope you know and he is an old friend of mine from Oakland, California, and he is spectacular. He's in town for a puppet show called The Pigeoning, but he's gonna give us a set late night at Mr Smalls. I'll be there that night, but I will be shooting video!
For info on their gig:

I am also working on doing a very intimate live evening of me with the band at Church Recording Studios, I intend to shoot a live dvd of that show, so keep your eyes peeled for a kick starter plea form me, but I am editing the video ask before I will send out the link. The cobblers children... they have no kickstarter campaigns.......

Normally here is where I say "Love and Light" but honestly, I've been doing so many different things and just trying to maintain reality, that my energy is a little scattered, so I will just say, thank you for being in my world,  thank you for allowing me in yours. If you want to hear from me more frequently, I am on the twitter.... If you tweet to me, I shall follow back.
Yours, Mandee

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