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, Parlanto 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.
Brought to you by Glenn Miller Productions, Inc., the owner and operator of The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra
Big Band Newsletter #090 *********************
As we had announced in our last newsletter, longtime musical director Larry O'Brien of theGlenn Miller Orchestra will retire at the end of this year. There are only a few months left to see Larry once more in his "farewell tour" conducting your favorite band! Please visit theGlenn Miller Orchestrascheduletoday to find a performance scheduled near you.
At this time we are proud to announced that trombonist Gary Tole will be replacing Larry starting January 2011. Gary, the leader of his own groupLegends of Swing, has had a long and illustrious career in the big band world including performances with the orchestras of Harry James, Tex Beneke, Les Brown, Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, and many more.
Gary was born and raised in Pittsburgh PA, attended Duquesne University, and in 1978 relocated and made his permanent residence in Southern California. On stage as well as recording, Gary’s smooth but dynamic style placed him in constant demand with such stars as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Rosemary Clooney, Johnny Mathis, Bernadette Peters, Kenny Rogers, Rita Moreno, Melissa Manchester, James Ingram, Peter Cetera, and Phil Collins. He has been seen and heard on numerous television programs backing great performers such as Diana Ross, Sammy Davis, Bob Hope, Pia Zadora, Sheena Easton, Peabo Bryson, The Pointer Sisters, and many more. Gary has also spent numerous hours in the recording studios doing record sessions, TV film, jingles, and major motion picture sound tracks. His recent recording with his group Legends of Swing,One Kettle For Count, was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards including Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Best Instrumental Composition, and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
In addition to trombone, Gary also plays bass trombone and euphonium. As an active clinician for Yamaha, Gary participated in music education programs as a judge for jazz festivals, band and orchestra festivals, private teaching of the low brass instruments, and traveled throughout the country conducting various clinics.
Upon assuming the musical director position with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gary will have come full circle. After attending Duquesne University, he was offered the first trombone chair with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and toured for 4 years under the direction ofJimmy Henderson.
We would like to thank Larry for his many years of friendship and musicianship and wish Gary the very best as the next musical director of the Glenn Miller Orchestra.