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


"Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: They were not only great musicians. They told the story of African-American life."

Randy Weston grew up in Brooklyn, with friends like Thelonious Monk inspiring him to play piano. He has traveled throughout the world, incorporating numerous influences into his playing.He comes to the New Hazlett Theater with his African Rhythms Quartet on Sat., Oct. 26.

You call yourself a storyteller, rather than a musician. Why?

My wonderful travels in the world [are] because of music. Music is the star, not Randy Weston. It's taken me from Bed-Stuy growing up, to the black church, the blues, and all over Asia and Africa. So I tell stories about my experiences, about African-American culture, African culture and the spirituality in music itself. Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington: They were not only great musicians. They told the story of African-American life.

Can you call your music jazz?

Jazz doesn't really give the full story. What we call jazz is African Americans' contribution to the United States. So if you look at it that way, it gives you a deeper understanding, also the genius and the spirituality of all these people. In Africa, people make music out of anything. For them, music is the voice of the creator.

How come you didn't become a professional musician until your late 20s?

Well, you can understand why: people like Art Tatum, Earl Hines, Nat Cole and Duke! All those people [were] around. So to call yourself a pianist, you gotta be careful! That was royalty. All those people who played this music and did it a different way — on the same instrument!

Views: 50


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

© 2024   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service