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


UPDATE: April 13, 2020, 1:06 p.m. ET. Please be aware that our grant service provider is experiencing some technical difficulties. If you are unable to access or complete your application at this time, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please wait a few minutes and try again. We are working with our service provider to help them resolve this issue. Thank you for your patience.

The Jazz Road Quick Assist Fund is a new, temporary emergency relief fund for jazz artists around the country who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and response. Through this fund, we are offering a limited number of $1,000 grants to artists whose tours and gigs in March, April, or May 2020 have been cancelled.

Dates and Deadlines

Application Opens: Monday, April 13, 2020
Application Deadline: The process will close when funds are depleted; artists are encouraged to submit as soon as possible.
Grant Notification: Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020
Award Payments Distributed: Beginning Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Program Description

As the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, performing artists were among some of the first and hardest hit. In response, Jazz Road Quick Assist Funds are available to freelance jazz musicians who have lost work throughout March, April, and May 2020. A limited number of $1,000 grants will be distributed to jazz musicians across the country to offset significant lost gig revenue.

In the interest of privacy to those who have lost income, the Jazz Road team will not publicly publish a list of recipients from this fund. We will allow the recipients to choose, at their discretion, to announce their status.

Award Amount: $1,000

Note: Grant funds are taxable. Grantees must comply with all applicable city, state, and federal laws when reporting grant income.


Jazz Road recognizes the aesthetic range of jazz music and its genres, and will not attempt to define “jazz” in the guidelines.

Only individual artists (as an individual, an artist-led nonprofit organization, or an artist-led corporation) may apply to this program. An eligible artist is:

  • A professional jazz artist;
  • Age 18 or over and not currently a full-time student;
  • A musician who relies on performing as a significant source of income;
  • A musician who has had significant losses of income due to COVID-19 pandemic response and cancellations beginning in March 2020;
  • Based in the U.S. or its territories, and is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.

Previous recipients of Jazz Road Tours grants are eligible to apply for this Quick Assist Fund.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received. Highest priority will go to the artists who have faced the most significant, damaging losses due to COVID-19 pandemic response cancellations.

The final grant pool, however, will reflect Jazz Road goals such as diversity and intersectionality in multiple areas including geographic, gender, race/ethnicity, age, disability, etc., as well as reach artists located in more rural, isolated areas. There will also be a priority to support artists who represent the African-American community as well as those who identify as women.

Demographic questions will be asked as part of the application process; while these questions are optional for all applicants, choosing to not answer them may impact our ability to prioritize your request.

Note: Even if you do not find yourself in one or more of these priorities — or perhaps especially if you do not find yourself in these priorities — please consider either sharing this opportunity with your colleagues who might be a priority or assisting them with an application. The Jazz Road team views this pandemic as an opportunity to offer the most assistance to those who are the most impacted, and we thank you for any help you can offer your colleagues.

Application Requirements

  • Proof that applicant is a professional jazz artist (links to website or a biography)
  • Proof of significant lost revenue (in excess of $1,000)
    • For musicians who rely on cash tips or otherwise unprovable income, a signed note explaining your situation will suffice


To begin or continue an application in-progress, please visit our application portal.


Jazz Road is led by South Arts in partnership with the five other U.S. Regional Arts Organizations (Arts Midwest, Mid-America Arts Alliance, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Western Arts Alliance/Western States Arts Federation. Regional Arts Organizations represent geographical groupings of states who partner with the National Endowment for the Arts, State Arts Agencies, and others to develop and deliver programs, services, and products that support and advance the arts. Jazz Road represents the first long-term formal collaboration including all six RAOs. This program is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Jazz Road Quick Assist fund launches with generous gifts totaling $445,000 in funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew. W. Mellon Foundation.

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