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
Music as a Bridge to the Soul

Music as a Bridge to the Soul

By Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, FRCP 


Soul music appeals to millions of people, but the music of the soul appeals to everyone. It is the one reliable bridge to the soul in every culture, but ancient India made a specialty of it. Instead of looking back thousands of years, however, it is more powerful to begin in an Alzheimer’s ward.

Imagine that you are present the first day that someone has the bright idea to play music to these patients. A waltz starts up. For a minute, the patients are mute and unresponsive, swathed in the cocoon of their dementia. Then something happens, or rather, a whole range of things. Some patients start tapping their feet to the music; others smile. A few get to their feet amazingly, and begin to dance. We are talking about people whose brains seem too damaged to respond to anything around them.

Change the waltz to a popular song. Some patients start to sing along, recalling lyrics from decades ago. If their response is awake enough, the same patients begin to talk coherently to their caregivers.

This very moving picture represents a breakthrough made in dementia research some years ago, and of course researchers want to know why music had such a seemingly magical effect. The best answer is that music acts like a bridge. The parts of the brain less affected by Alzheimer’s responded normally to the delight of music the way we all do, but in addition, these areas reached out to damaged areas, trying to embrace them into the experience.

That’s a fascinating finding, but step away from brain scans and go deeper. Why does a character in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night declare, “If music be the food of love, play on”? Because love and music point beyond everyday experience. They are delightful and mysterious at the same time. No emotion escapes the reach of music, as every culture has discovered. We are attuned to music just as we are attuned to love.

The Vedic civilization of India looked deeper still. A science of vibrations (Shabda) emerged that gave a vibrational signature to everything in creation. Some vibrations were pure sound, such as mantras, while others pertained to objects such as gems. This conclusion is exactly parallel to quantum physics, in which matter, energy, space, and time are reducible to ripples in the quantum field.

Therefore, when you feel carried away by music, the sensation is real. Music bridges you to the fundamental vibrations in Nature, and since these vibrations are you, music carries you closer to your source and origin. You can call this a soul journey, but terminology doesn’t matter. What matters is that music connects you to basic qualities in creation.

·      Creation is organized rather than chaotic.

·      Creation has a purpose.

·      Creation is knowable to the human mind.

·      Creation on the human scale leads to inspiration.

·      The harmony (orderliness) of Nature is the invisible glue that keeps matter and energy aligned rather than flying apart in a mist of atoms.

These principles apply equally to human DNA, a heart cell, a fetus in the womb, your brain, and a Bach fugue or Mozart symphony. You can use physics as your worldview, or spirit as your worldview. Some version of these same principles will eventually emerge, the deeper into Nature you investigate.

Great musicians and composers take advantage of the bridge that music creates very directly. Their minds and brains are flooded with musical vibrations. Their delight is to remain in this world forever. For the rest of us, what is important is where the bridge takes us, because the bridge leads to infinite possibilities. When all of creation is vibration, you have the key to all experiences. Change the “signature” of the experience, and you change the experience itself.

That’s what happens to Alzheimer’s patients. Music changed a “signature” of isolation, despair, and disconnection into something better. The field of music therapy is far larger than this one example. Music has been used to ease traumas, rehabilitate physical and mental injuries, restore a sense of being present and alive. Look around, and it becomes obvious that music is the food of the soul. Where this insight might lead us no one can predict, but it is certain that we’ve only begun to take our first steps.


DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, FRCP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a whole health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 91st book, Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life  explores and reinterprets the physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits that the practice of meditation can bring. For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution. His latest book,  Living in the Light co-authored with Sarah Platt-Finger. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.”


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