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

Jazz at Blue Moon Bar this Sunday! 23rd Annual Ides of March March! New videos about fascists and weddings!

Friends! So much is happening! It's crazy, how much is going on, it's hard to keep up with myself!

I am singing this Sunday March 13th at the Blue Moon Bar in Lawrenceville, with guitarist Carlos Peña! 10 pm, 21 and over, no cover, 5115 Butler St, Lawrenceville!

More info:

I just love this venue, it is small and intimate, non smoking, the home for the best Drag artists in the city, and has extremely generous wine pours! There is no cover! It's free! Just come on down and go to the bar that Cheers would have been if it had been run by your Gay yinzer uncle! The evening is presented by an up and coming filmmaker and producer Smokin' McQueen!

However before that fateful performance, specifically in about 17 hours of the posting of this blog/email blast, if you would like to know what *I* recommend on a Friday night in Pittsburgh....May I suggest that you attend Friday March 11you might attend the 33rd Anniversary Concert celebrating the Afro American Music Institute? The Spelman College Jazz Ensemble is the guest artist, they are here all the way from Atlanta, GA and also performing will be the Jazz Lab students, who are taught weekly by my old friend Howie Alexander! They sound great and the future of music is safe with these young ones! They rehearse right after my own vocal class every Saturday and if you can make it tomorrow you will really be in for a treat! 7 pm at St James AME church, 444 Lincoln Ave, in Homewood! $10, all ages!

More info:

and then later this same night on Friday March 11 I whole heartedly recommend an evening of rock n roll, clowns, earnest singer songwriters and the best Polish food in the 'Burgh! At the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 4412 Liberty Ave, Bloomfield! 10 pm, 21 and over, $5!

With my sweet husband Tommy Amoeba's band Amoeba Knievel, Slippy the Clown, Dru and Amy MmmHmm and Robin Votes! Also the World Video Premiere of Amoeba Knievel's FIRST EVER music video,  created by Smokin' McQueen of Smoke This Productions, of "Cowboy Ed and the Caterpillar"!  More info:


On Tuesday March 15 is the 23rd Annual Ides of March March!!! 
Come march with us for no particular reason at all! This proud and completely unreasonable annual tradition has plagued the Southside for over 2 decades! Join us with your heads held high in a celebration of the IT that IS! For we are, we have been and we shall continue to be for as long as we are able! Beat the gong soundly and dress up like the best version of you that you could imagine! Afterwards we retire for a bit of cake and coffee, so wear some comfortable walking shoes and bring your own percussion! Clowns and nefarious ne'er do wells welcome!
Gather 6 pm at 12th and Carson! March at 6:30!
More info:

And then the DAY AFTER THAT (no rest for the artful) I am singing on Wednesday March 16 with Christiane D at Artful Wednesdays at the University of Pittsburgh's William Pitt Student Union!  All ages, 12 pm, no cover, at 5th and Bigelow, in Oakland!

More info about the show:

It's at NOON, so don't be late! I sang on her record, if you would like to download it check it out!

And then..... as I started the week singing in a Gay bar.... and because every good story uses bookends.... something that is reminiscent of that which was at the beginning is again referenced in the end.... I shall go back to my roots and sing for a benefit fundraiser for the nation's ONLY LBGTQ BURLESQUE FESTIVAL! On Friday March 18, we shall celebrate the Fierce Queer Burlesque Festival and perform a murder mystery burlesque variety cabaret extravaganza at James Street Gastropub! I am on FIRST so if you want to see me DON'T BE LATE! There are over 26 performers, so if you are late, there will be plenty of bawdy beauties to tempt the eyes!
9 pm, $5, over 21 only, 422 Foreland St, Northside!

More info about Fierce NOIR:

And as if that was not enough, all these opportunities to see me LIVE and IN PERSON, iffen you just live too far away, or you work too much, or you would like to share the fascinating world of Phat Man Dee with a friend or loved one.... please enjoy these video offerings.... the first video here is one shot and edited by Smokin' McQueen and myself at the World Bodypainting Festival in Austria during European adventures last year. I sing with a young musician named Jake Goldwasser who was on his way to study at the Conservatory of Music in Vienna.... the models and the incredible artists who painted them were so inspiring and beautiful, I was so happy for the opportunity to sing to them while they worked!

And, because the world isn't all body painted wood elves who play the flute....I have been feeling the fear of the nation building around me, as madness threatens to create a hellish kingdom on this earth.... I believe that we on the planet are one people, with the capacity to love and honor each other and celebrate our diversity with opportunity, equity and respect. Not everyone feels this way. As a patriotic American I have a sacred duty to do my best to prevent the rise of fascism. If his name is Trump, if his name is Cruz, or Toomey or even Hitler, whatever you call him, we need to fight the home grown "American" terrorists who would like to see him in the Oval office. So, I wrote a song about it. It is in demo form, I just wrote it and I recorded it in my home studio, it's not what I would consider a finished piece by any means, but if you would like to check it out, here is the demo for "4th Reich is Rising" by Phat Man Dee.

One final thought, horrible thing happened yesterday,  something I can't understand. A family was massacred while having a bar be que in their back yard, in Wilkinsburg, PA, its a small city just east of Pittsburgh. I have been there many times. It is on hard times, but there are some wonderful people who live there. Today there are 5 less. 5 people and an  unborn baby were shot and killed. There are 11 children orphaned now as a result. The family has a fund set up at Citizen's Bank, the "Shelton-Powell Memorial Fund". If you can share something, they have many people to bury and now many children to care for. The bank info is Citizen's Bank, 2020 Ardmore Blvd, phone: 412-271-9183.

As I cannot just let you go on that horrible reality, I wrote a song called "Why Wait (to say I Love You)" which the World Bodypainting Festival featured in a video they made of my dear friend's wedding! My friends Madelyn and Scott are award winning bodypaint artists from the Livingbrush, which is the reason I went to the festival last July in Austria.... my song is my way of saying don't wait. If you love someone, now is the time to say it. Now is the time to love. Now is the time to be beautiful.

One love,

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