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
My Experience Living In Ghana

I am a Solo Performing Artist, vocalist and guitarist. I just returned from Ghana West Africa after living there with no return visits to the U.S. for 10 years. It was a life changing experience, and the most difficult thing I've done in my life. I love and perform in a variety of music genres including: Jazz, R&B (especially the classic stuff),Reggae, Blues (a little, looking to expand that part of repertoire) and Pop. I also write my own music and just released my first self produced album entitled: "War No More" Look for the songs to be posted in the very near future.
I've had some memorable experiences in Ghana, met some wonderful people, and gained some tremendous insight into us as Black People in general. It changed my whole perspective about our global situation as Black/African People. Black History Month is upon us and I will be sure to share at least one or two of those things during this month.
I was blessed to have some great performance experiences in Ghana.I started out with a steady gig at Hans Cottage Botel performing every Saturday night for four years...Performed with another good musician a pianist and guitarist named David Howard also a resident musician there. I then joined another group of musicians Featuring myself with guitarist/bassist Fianko Yirenchi a Ghanaian born and raised in Nigeria (who I learned a lot from and as a result advanced in my understanding of music) and Tommy was our drummer....Our drummer passed on (May his soul rest in peace)...we then acquired Napolean another fantastic Ghanaian drummer...who by the way played a special performance in Ethiopia as a young boy playing the cungas, when Asagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah (1st Prime minister of Ghana who led Ghana's drive for independence) took a group of musicians to perform for His Majesty Emperor Haile Salasse...(By the way he told me it's true that His Majesty did have lions in his courtyard as you enter...but he too passed on (May his soul also rest in perfect peace).
I also participated in Panafest 2003 and 2005 featured as a solo performing artist, performing songs I wrote as a theme for Youth Day. Panafest 2003 the theme song I wrote for Youth Day is entitled African Shining Star, which will be released in a future album along with Let's Rise Again a song written specifically for Panafest Youth Day 2005, which is on my current album entitled "War No More". Visit to hear some of the music...(and now for sale on
I also enjoyed performing in Jazz Tone in Accra Ghana where I was priviledged to sing with a great bunch of musicians including, Victor Dey(a fantastic young Ghanaian Jazz pianist), Ray Allen (horn player extraordiare), Gautier (Fantastic world class bassist from Togo) and Craig Haynes (Fantastic Drummer also son of legendary Roy Haynes) along with others.
Another special experience was meeting Cynthia Scott my current favorite female jazz vocalist(one of the original background vocalist for Ray Charles), and being invited on stage by her to sing at her show with the Jazz Ambassadors at University of Cape Coast performance. Met another fantastic drummer there too....Alvin Atkinson!!!
I am originally from New York where I started singing at around 5 of 6 years old and started learning guitar at age 14. My first on stage performance was at around 16 years old and have been doing it ever since....Well almost, cause I did stop for about 10 years while living in Chicago...some of my friends there did not even see this side of me...imagine that.
Well now I'm back in good ol' U.S.A...Yeah I'm a Pan Africanist but I really appreciate being back. I'm in Pittsburgh enjoying the love I'm getting for my performances..always so overwhelming. I've been performing around town since June 2007. The latest exciting performance I had was at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild a wonderful performance venue on the North side. All the great Jazz artists past and present have performed there
and I feel priviledged to have been able to do so as well. There's so much more to tell....
Now I'm in Pittsburgh continuing to perform...Just finished producing a performance series entitled "Let's Rise Again-ABABIO, A music performance series sharing some of my experiences of living in Africa...
Check out my web site:

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