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

Phat Man Dee singing Three Times this weekend!

You heard it here first folks, if you are in the Pittsburgh area this weekend, 
I would love to see your shiny pretty face! If you aren't, well, I love ya anyways!

Tonight, Friday night I am singing in 2 places, but on the same street, so you could actually attend both were you so driven. At about 8:30 or so I will sing as an opener act for the lovely Miss Tess, the Twilight Brigade and Elliot Sussman at Hambone's in Lawrenceville, at 4207 Butler Street. $7, 21 and over.

Same night, just a little later, and 2 blocks closer to town at 10 pm, I am emceeing another phenomenal night of lovely ladies at Belvedere's, 4016 Butler St. in Lawrenceville, a night of live jazz by Pittsburgh's number one and number two best jazz artists (according to the City Paper readers poll 2010) namely me and Olga Watkins, and we're doing a duet together as we accompany the incredible dancers of the Bridge City Bombshells! Doors open at 9:00pm and show at 10 pm! 21 and over, $8 before 10 pm and $10 after 10 pm. Drink specials: $2 Yuenglings $3 Wells

And then tomorrow on Saturday, March 26  from 7:00pm - 9:00pm, at the Christine Frechard Gallery at 5871 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, if you would like me to sing to you with 2 of my favorite musicians (and not to backing tracks in smoky loud clubs) live and in person in a great art gallery check out the Facebook event page! Only $10 and ALL AGES!

And if you cannot attend I understand, for now, but please save the date of April 15!  We are planning a big Tsunami benefit for Japan at the Shadow Lounge, confirmed performers so far include myself, Geña of Machete, Miguel Sague III and Carlos Peña of Guaracha, Christina Springer, Daryl Fleming, Ben Shannon, Alba Flamenca (formerly Flamenco Pittsburgh) and more! Also a video game competition and raffle, so save the date and we'll send out more info soon!

Love and light,

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