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

New Granada Theater project gets Heinz Endowment Grant

Heinz Endowments awards nearly $10 million to community development projectsCourier Newsroom

PITTSBURGH—Almost $10 million in grants to support key Pittsburgh community development initiatives was approved by the Heinz Endowments Board, the New Pittsburgh Courier has learned according to a May 25 news release.

Funding includes more than $1.75 million to upgrade the historic New Granada Theater in the Hill District, another $1.7 million in continued support of the Hazelwood Green development and $750,000 to Bike Share Pittsburgh to assist its transition to electric-assist bicycles.

Additionally, among the nearly $30 million in total grants approved by the Endowments Board was COVID-relief support that includes a special $3 million fund to help the reopening of arts venues across the Pittsburgh region following closures and depleted revenues during the pandemic.

The community development funding is part of the Endowments’ ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for all residents in the Pittsburgh region by supporting opportunities to address the health, safety and economic wellbeing of local communities, regardless of zip code.

In the Hill District, the $1.75 million grant to the Hill Community Development Corporation will support the renovation and expansion of the New Granada Theater, which has been vacant for decades. The money will help leverage funding from other sources that will total $35 million to restore the structure and build an addition, anchoring the corner of Centre Avenue and Dinwiddie Street in the heart of the neighborhood.

The New Granada Theater was designed by noted Black architect Louis A.S. Bellinger and built by Black laborers in the 1920s. During the community’s heyday from the 1920s through the 1950s, the Art Deco theater was a nationally recognized jazz center, hosting legendary performers such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie and Cab Calloway. The building’s renovation together with construction of affordable artist housing nearby by another developer is expected to reclaim an entire block of Centre Avenue and strengthen current revitalization efforts in the community.

As part of its role as one of three foundation owners of the Hazelwood Green development in the Hazelwood neighborhood, the Endowments is making a commitment of more than $1.7 million towards its continued funding of initiatives at the site.

Among them are improvements required by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to develop future access to the site, renovation of the former locomotive roundhouse, and development of public space known as Mill Plaza.

“Strengthening community development is core to building healthy neighborhoods, and improving quality of life for all, now and for future generations,” said Grant Oliphant, President of the Endowments, in a release.

“This is a pivotal time that has further exposed areas of need and inequities in our communities that must be addressed if we are to move forward together in sharing in our region’s economic, social and cultural wellbeing.”


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