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

from May to December.... but the daze grow short, when you reach September"
And the sweet lyrics of Maxwell Anderson mean as much today as when Kurt Weill put them to music in 1938. My favorite version will always be Billy Eckstein's.  Here is a link to hear his incredible performance:

For me.... I hope I get some precious daze with you sometime soon.
My shows that I have lined up are very exciting and I am thrilled to share them with you!

Sunday September 11, 2016, doors at 12 pm, show at 1 pm 
Golden Legends Champion Challenge
James Street Speakeasy and Gastropub, 422 Foreland St, Pittsburgh 

Get your tickets before they sell out! I am simply thrilled to be part of this wonderful event and can't wait to croon on stage with these legendary performers! Come cheer on our Golden Legend Champion Challenge 2016 program participants as they compete for the title of Golden Legend Champion! More about the organization: Golden Legend Champion Challenge is the ultimate show and competition hybrid that brings Living Legends of burlesque and up-and-coming burlesque performers together in a mentoring program that benefits all involved. Each of the selected proteges will be paired with a Legend from whom to receive one-on-one mentoring in preparation for the challenge. Legends are presented with the opportunity to help mold and nurture emerging burlesque performers. Each pair has the chance to bond in a way unique to Golden Legends, with the end goal of enhancing performance skills and making lifelong friendships worth their weight in gold. 

Age Limit: 21+   Tickets: $25 general admission - $90 reserved table for 4 - $150 Golden Reserved VIP Table for 4 with many perks! Tickets and info:

Friday September 16, 2016, 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 
ReNEW Arts Festival Juried Exhibition opening gala
623 Smithfield Street, downtown, Pittsburgh

I am so excited to be singing with my band The Cultural District, Carlos Peña (guitar), Dwayne Dolphin (bass) and Miguel Sague III (conga/vox) as part of the opening reception for the juried exhibition of the ReNEW Festival! This exhibit features works by 21 artists from Southwestern PA that incorporate creative reuse or themes of sustainability or transformation. The artworks in the exhibit were selected by jurors Eric Crosby, Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Carnegie Museum of Art; DS Kinsel, Artist / Co-Founder of BOOM Concepts; and Kilolo Luckett, Art Historian + Cultural Producer. This incredible month long festival is taking place all over Pittsburgh and at multiple venues, please check out the website and check out all the amazing experiences this art extravaganza has to offer! More info:

Friday October 7, 2016 at 7 p.m. 
Fashion Extravaganza at the ReNEW Arts Festival
Wintergarden at 1 PPG Place

I shall be emceeing this phenomenal event curated by my dear friend Karen Page, the fashion and costuming instructor at CAPA High School! Celebrate radical fashions at this high energy showcase of garments, accessories and jewelry inspired by creative reuse of materials, sustainable practices and transformative processes. This showcase of designs by local artists includes fashions by fiber artists, fashion designers, and also CAPA students who were inspired by Drap-Art visiting artist Dolo Navas while she was residency at their school. Music and refreshments. Family-friendly.

Saturday October 15, 2016 at 10 p.m. 
Turned On! Burlesque Takes the Mic! 
James Street Speakyeasy and Gastropub 
422 Foreland St, Northside, Pittsburgh 

Join us for a unique night of music! Your favorite local Pittsburgh burlesque and drag performers... SING for YOU! Plus a few musical guest surprises, and live musicians. 
Fierce! VIP front-row tables for 4 (only 4 available)
Tables for 4 (only eight availble)
General admission $10 at the door 
Featured Guest: Eileen Galvin from Cols OH 
Local HEADLINER: Phat Man Dee!!! 
Also Featuring: Members of the Velvet Hearts Pittsburgh... Corvida Bleux Holly DeVyne Eden Ivy Luscious D Vita Valentina Viva Valezz! and your host Devon Orel And our friends: Lynn Brigham Georgia Bea Cummings Lita D'Vargas Shaneful Desires of Hot Metal Hardware Gerra Cassandra Meloy Moon: Variety Artist Vyrus V Ixen Arla White and Honey Merlot from Columbus! with the The Ukulele Cowboy Society! (And I don't want to give too much away, but I should mention the organizer of this event Viva Valezz, has a giant oyster shell stage prop that she dances in front of, made by the magical props designer and historical victorian restoration carpenter Ed Pinto, and I have a set of waves made by him as well, and so far they have never been on stage together as part of the same act.... but when you get Viva, Mandee and some sea themed burlesque props in one room together at one time, amazing things could happen!!!!) 

So that is what I have on the books currently. I am working on a couple projects, making another Unity Concert with my fellow artist/ activist co-conspirators, working on creating "Phat Man Dee's Phantom Pop Up Jazz Club and Jam Session", working on a couple different recording projects, a social justice disco album with my old friend and mentor Liz Berlin, working on making a jazz standards album with my mentors Dr Johnson and Howard Alexander.  I am also still editing video from Europe and I have alot more video I have shot since then, so I am just kind of working my way through it.... I am also still teaching voice to young students at the Afro-American Music Institute (AAMI) , and my classes meet every Saturday at 2 p.m. at the school We are located at 7131 Hamilton Ave. in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, and you can register your child for my class, or yourself for the adult singing class led by Dr Johnson, or an instrument class with any one of our incredible faculty by calling 412-241-6775. More info can be found on our website:

I might be hitting you all up, my wonderful fans and friends, for some support.... I recently became sponsored through Fractured Atlas, so donations made through any fundraiser I do will be tax deductible. I am still kind of deciding what project to raise $$ for, it will probably be the recording projects, since I spent all my $$ I had been saving on renovations to help my mama move into my house. She just retired from her position as a special needs instructor at the Chinle school on the Navajo Nation and she came back to Pittsburgh last week. As soon as I get this work completed, she is moving in with Tommy and I, so I am really happy about that but I spent all my recording budget on fixing some floors so we can install a stairlift for her. So, don't get mad if I start the fundraising thingy again. I will do it as a "Pre Sale" support the new records (listen to me, next I'll revert to calling them albums and think we're doing a release party at the NRM or something!) However, I probably won't need nearly as much as I did to go to Europe, so hopefully it won't be too painful. Speaking of Europe, young Alistair McQueen and I completed another video from our jounrney last year, it's me solo singing "Streets of London" on the Westminster Bridge.

Love you, be kind to each other. We are one people, on one earth, and this is the life we are living, right now.  Yours in peace, Mandee

Views: 77


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2022   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service