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 is not a what you do, but a how....

Or at least that's what I tell myself. I also believe that jazz happens when you use music and your instrument to communicate complex ideas and feelings in a conversation that isn't spoken. You don't  need words, (though they help,  if your a poet and vocalist like me, they are as much a part of your instrument as much as a reed is to sax player or a string is to a bassist). Sometimes those conversations bleed into to other art forms, they shape them and the other art responds and shapes the music right back. When you talk about New Orleans, you talk abut the music and you also talk about the food.... Jazz can affect many mediums like dance and visual art and that to me is the beauty of this particular musical form.... I think that might be why I do so many different kinds of gigs. Once one of my musicians said to me that while he might make more money playing with some other cats, he could never pay for the experiences that playing with me has led him. I like to take the jazz from hither to thither and yon. I've sung on the high desert in Nevada beneath flaming steel lotus sculptures just before dawn, and
I've sung it to the homeless who live in the depths of the sewers which run alongside the LA river, I've sung it for bellydancers, burlesquers and circus freaks and I am proud to say that no matter where I go, people like to listen. I am honored to have such a wonderful and diverse
community of friends and fans. Thank you. I hope you can come out to some of the nice gigs I am blessed with this month.

This Friday May 24, 2013 from 7 - 10 p.m. at Tables on the Green!

New venue, new restaurant, no cover, please come out and support this new venture in Natrona Heights! Join me with my group, The Cultural District, featuring Carlos Peña (guitar), Miles Jackson (bass), Langston Kelly (sax) and Brian Edwards (drums) at this once private club in it's new incarnation as a beautiful destination restaurant! Creole cuisine and live jazz! Their motto is  “In an effort to shape our way of cooking, we look to our landscape and delve into our ingredients and culture, hoping to rediscover our history and shape our future.” For some of you
it is a bit of a drive, I know.... but I hope you come anyways. It's going to be a great night and I'd love to see you there!
Tables on the Green - 1299 Lane avenue
Natrona Heights, PA 15065

web: phone: 724-226-0955 no cover, all ages

The following Friday May 31, 2013 at 7 p.m. Morris Levy Gallery aka Monk's Place
photo by Mia Donna Maneer

I am singing at a closing for an art show for my friend Mia Donna Maneer (photographer). She documents many of the counter cultural performances happening in town, she has great images of our burlesque and other performing art extravaganzas. I shall sing a short set accompanied by pre recorded backing tracks. LUPEC (Ladies United for the Preservation of the Endangered Cocktail) shall also be present mixing up some delightfully historic libations!
No cover, but you can buy the art what hasn't already sold from her exquisite collection!
Morris Levy Gallery aka Monk's Place
3634 Penn Ave. Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, PA, 15201
no cover, all ages, though art work featured will include adult material
Saturday June 8, 2013 8 p.m. - midnight at the Pillow Project
Phat Man Dee is thrilled to be included in the Second Saturdays event with the phenomenal dancers of the Pillow Project. Also featured throughout the evening will be new conceptual
multimedia work by the residents of The Space Upstairs, as well as ongoing Freejazz performances. I will be bringing a slightly different version of the Cultural
District to play with me, joining us in this exciting improvisational collaborative effort between jazz dance company and myself will be the musicians: Carlos Peña (guitar), Dave Pellow (bass), George Jones  (conga) and Poogie Bell (drums).
The Pillow Project occurs every second Saturday at the Space Upstairs.
214 N Lexington, Pittsburgh, PA, 15208
phone: (412) 225-9269

All Ages, $10 entrance fee
Facebook event page:
Also, when we say The Space Upstairs, it's up like 2 flights of stairs, so if you have trouble walking, this may not be the gig for you, it is not wheelchair accessible.

Friday June 14, 2013, 10 p.m. to midnight

Phat Man Dee's Cavalcade of Stars,
featuring Bob Lynch and friends at the Americans for the Arts Conference
This gig is for attendees of the Americans for the Arts Convention only.
I am so excited to be hosting this year's musical jam session after the VIP welcoming dinner for the Americans for the Arts Conference. Featured guests include CEO of AFTA Bob Lynch & friends, the ensuing improvisational musical collaboration shall extend our sonic bridges far beyond Pittsburgh! Musicians include Carlos Peña, Tony DePaolis, Miguel Sague III and all of our wonderful guests! This conference is very exciting, over 1200 attendees from all over the country shall come gather in our fair city and talk about the future of art in America!!! We are so
honored to be included and cannot wait for this glorious weekend!!Phat Man Dee's Cavalcade of Stars, featuring Bob Lynch and friends at the Americans for the Arts Conference shall occur at the Westin Hotel downtown and any attendee to the conference who is musically inclined is
welcome to sit in with us or take the stage for their own!!
More info about the conference and how to attend:

Saturday June 22, 2013 9 p.m. at Howler's Coyote Cafe

Join us for this madcap event featuring the dulcet tones of Tommy Amoebaand his band Amoeba Knievel as he celebrates his 52nd birthday in grand style in conjunction with Pittsburgh's first SubGenius Devival in almost15 years! Also performing is myself with members of the Cultural District namely Michael Murray (keys) and Tony DePaolis (bass) , Andrew

the Impaled, Saint tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE, local pyrotician/roboticist/saxophonist Eric Singer, and amazingly the honorable and ever more adorable, very irreverent Reverend Ivan Stang, co founder of the Book of the SubGenius himself!!!  For more info on how
to join the Church of Bob and buy your salvation for only $35 or triple your $$ back, or to find out how to keep the pinks from STEALING your SLACK! Check out

Howler's Coyote Cafe 
4590 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224, 21 and over, $10 at door  

So.... as you can see, jazz happens in strange and unlikely places. Sometimes it happens in a lovely restaurant with delicious creole cuisine, sometimes it happens in art galleries, sometimes it happens in dance spaces with improvisational modern dancers turning the music into beautiful movement, sometimes it is the medium with which musicians and artists from all of the country can come together and learn about each other and the region they are visiting, and then sometimes it happens in the middle of a SubGenius devival featuring savvy salesmen selling salvation in the form of aliens who will come to take us all away in our pleasure domes when the Rupture comes and the pinks and norms begin to burn..... In any case, I am happy to meet the jazz there and bring it forth, for I too have a message, and my message is "We're all a bunch of weirdoes, let's celebrate it and love each other for the freaks we really are, cuz if this is the only go round (and I'm not saying it is, but I have alot of friends who believe it might be) I don't want to spend it trying to fit into someone else's misinformed opinion of what I should or should not be, so let's have a good time and as the SubGenius say 'F*ck'em if the can't take a joke!' Of course they also say 'If you're gonna eat a hamburger, eat the HELL out that hamburger!' which is good too, unless your vegetarian and then I suppose it would be 'If
you're gonna eat a veggie burger, eat the HELL out that veggie burger!' I do eat meat, but I also like veggie burgers, and I am digressing cuz it's been a long life, so please come to a gig, I am here now and so are you, and if not now, when???" That's a long motto, but I'm sticking to

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