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
Hi Folks,

The music business can definitely be a bitter place.

It can be so bitter that even a family member can steal, lie, and cheat you out of a gig.

Why is it that we have to cut people up and belittle them?

Why is it that when you finally get a gig folks want to cut into your program or cut you out?

Be happy and be proud when somebody gets a gig.

When you see a friend or somebody you might know who posts that he or she is playing a gig with a band write a nice comment to them in the comment section in the events section.

You can't play every gig.

But if you stay cool with everybody, then when everybody gets a gig and they may need you, everybody will call you.

No matter how bad things get with folks- You absolutely gotta keep your cool.

When things get real bad when I'm on different music projects, I just keep my mouth shut and talk inside myself and keep it bottled up because when you come back the next day Everybody's Cool- By keeping cool, I always get to keep all my jobs.

Music and the arts can be a very hard and vicious business- But you can make it full of fun and laughter and enjoyment.

Gosh, I used to have terrible anxiety problems for years, and now when I play a gig- I have the time of my life, and I do my best to have everybody having the time of their life.

You know, It's very hard on me to see that there's bitterness amongst different members of The Pittsburgh Jazz Network- That's not what the network is about- It's about connecting and supporting one another by attending each other's gigs and helping each other get gigs and helping each other when folks might feel bitter about the way things are going in their music career.

How can we help each other when things get bad or if unfortunately we might lose our cool?

Let's make The Pittsburgh Jazz Network a positive experience for everybody.

Finally, to end on a positive note- I just love the whole concept of what "Doc" Nelson has created with this Pittsburgh Jazz Network- I mean - Wow! I get to advertise for free on where I'm playing my gigs, what's happening with my Jazz Workshop, Inc. Programs, what's happening with all the bands I play with, I'm looking to play with other bands and wanting to teach private music lessons on the trumpet, etc.

So The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is about all of us working together to keep jazz alive in our classrooms, communities, and nightclubs.

Let's Keep Swinging!

Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
(412) 422-4149 (C)
(412) 841-9046 (C)

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