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PITTSBURGH JAZZ

 

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.

 

WELCOME!

 

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Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin

    MARY LOU WILLIAMS     

            INTERVIEW

       In Her Own Words

Name of after hours club across from the Luna Bar????

Can anyone help me to remember the name of the after hours club that was across from the Luna Bar (Centre Ave.?). The place really didn't start to jump until after all the other bars had closed. The door had a small peep window and you had to ask for a fellow named "baz" and if baz recognized you, you gained entry. My time frame is the 1970's

I enjoyed going there because there was always some good jazz entertainment. there were some great female vocalists.

Thanks for any help.

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Comment by David Breyer on January 13, 2011 at 7:27pm
I love re-living my old days of jazz and cocktails in Pittsburgh - kind of miss them, but I quit drinking about 25 years ago!  Another old haunt in that neighborhood was the Name of the Game (a talkin' and a drinkin'). Centre Ave. I believe
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on January 13, 2011 at 7:07pm
Yes it was the New Era Sportsman's Club.  Chief's was on the opposite side of the street and the Pitt Pot was around the corner on Centre Ave.
Comment by David Breyer on January 13, 2011 at 6:55pm
The memory has returned and you are correct on the name - New Era, but I think we called it the New Era Sportsmans Club, though I don't think there was much talk of fishing going on there...
Comment by David Breyer on November 13, 2010 at 9:09pm
Thanks for the name. It doesn't sound like the same name as back then, but its possible. You have the location correct. there was also another bar around the corner with some great jukebox jazz - Chief's was the name of that one.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on November 13, 2010 at 5:19pm
I believe you are referring to the New Era Club which was on Craig Street near the corner of Centre Ave.

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