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

On Monday August 10, 2015 at 10:00am, Mayor DiBlasio of New York City will sign the bill co-naming Ritter Place, "Maxine Sullivan Way." I am grateful that my mother is being honored this way. She lived on this street for over 40 years. The event will take place at City Hall. Official unveiling date is yet to be determined but within the next three months.

Paula Morris

Views: 178


You need to be a member of Pittsburgh Jazz Network to add comments!

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Melissa Jones on October 10, 2015 at 1:22pm

Maxine Sullivan and her contribution to Jazz....YES!

It is a GREAT Day in the BRONX!

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on October 10, 2015 at 4:07am

Bronx Street to be Named After Maxine Sullivan

October 9, 2015

Ritter Place and Prospect Avenue in the Bronx will be named to honor the late singer Maxine Sullivan this Saturday, Oct. 10, at 11 a.m.

She lived at 818 Ritter Place for over 40 years. During the 1940s, Sullivan and her husband John Kirby were featured on the radio program Flow Gently Sweet Rhythm, the first black jazz stars to have their own weekly radio series. She recorded with the bands of Teddy Wilson, Benny Carter and Jimmy Lunceford. As a solo artist she performed at several New York City jazz clubs and toured Europe. In 1949, she appeared in a television series, Uptown Jubilee, and in 1953 starred in the play Take a Giant Step. Sullivan was nominated for the 1979 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in My Old Friends and was featured in the film biography Maxine Sullivan: Love to Be in Love. In semi-retirement in the ’50s-’60sshe was active in the local community and in the 1970s, Sullivan founded a non-profit community center, the House That Jazz Built. She died on April 7, 1987, in the Bronx at the age of 75.

Comment by Melissa Jones on August 9, 2015 at 12:40am

YES to "Maxine Sullivan Way"! And double YES to Maxine's incredible contribution to jazz!

© 2023   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service