AFRO-AMERICAN MUSIC INSTITUTE CELEBRATES 36 YEARS
Pain Relief Beyond Belief
I don't normally post my thoughts on this site when I am peeved , but I have to clear these thoughts. I played a gig this weekend with three of Pittsburgh"s best musicians: Mark Lucas, Brian Sanders, and Kevin Howard. These three guys as well as myself played with Ronnie Laws at the August Wilson Center a few months back. The guys and I discussed back on the Ronnie gig about how The "audiences" and promoters here in Pgh don't really appreciate the talent that lives here and this weekend was an example of that. If any of you were at Scheneley Park Sunday then you would have seen Marcus Johnson and other out of town musicians. Unfortunately what you didn"t see if you came after three in the afternoon was the three fore mentioned guys and myself. We were intentionally put in that slot as just "local Musicians." That was a complete insult!!! I moved back here recently from the east coast where I felt the audiences and the musicianship couldn't touch what Pgh has to offer but after this weekend and the disrespect us four musicians received I am extremely disappointed in the promoters of that show. I, like a lot of other Pgh musicians live here because we "choose" too. I have lived many places and have always chose to come home. The very same people you rub elbows with on any given night and the same people you say are so great and that you love to hear play are the same people touring and recording all over America and the world and "we" are local. I have played many places in Europe where people found out I was from Pgh, I was treated like royalty every time partly based on the reputation of how great "our" , Pgh"s, musical contributions have been. It's time for the same people lobbying for a jazz radio station or a new jazz venue, ask yourself this question: Before I book so and so from D.C. or New York or anywhere else but from here am I being a hypocrite by promoting some guys from down the turnpike as the best new thing in jazz and yet yoking the cats from my scene? Or am I going to stop "talking" up the scene and help "build up" the scene. Hypocrite or straight shooter?
Brian E. Edwards