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

South Beach Party held at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts

July 30, 2013 12:03 am

N-Motion: Lisa Hopson, Terri Thomas, Shawn Hopson, Gene Mikell, Terri Smith-Epps, and Popa Banks.

The second annual South Beach Party held at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Saturday night was all about the music. Presented by N-Motion Entertainment, the event featured a super energized performance by jazz saxophonist Eric Darius. He rocked the socks off the nearly 200 music lovers before emcee Debbie Norrell introduced this year's honorees Bill Peduto, candidate for mayor, Nelson Harrison, trombonist of the Count Basie Orchestra, and Donna Baxter, CEO of Soul Pitt Media. In between sets guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and some socializing. N-Motion CEO Shawn Hopson and his team, including Popa Banks, also organized the after party with DJ Mike the Punisher, line dancing with Roland Ford and urban ballroom dancing with Bill Ford.

First Published July 30, 2013 12:00 am

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Comment by Roberta Windle on August 9, 2013 at 10:56pm

What a Great Eve. Looking forward to the 3rd!

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 9, 2013 at 10:14pm

It was a Jazz thing—South Beach Style

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HAVING A GREAT TIME—Terry Brown, Jacqueline Wilmer, Shari Nowlin and Char Hardin

For all of those who think there is nothing to do in Pittsburgh, N-Motion Entertainment has something for you. If you are reading about their Second Annual South Beach Party and not reminiscing about it then you must have missed it.

FirstcoupleOn July 27, at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts the N-Motion Entertainment Team: Shawn Hopson, CEO, Lisa Hopson, Popa Banks, Terri Smith-Epps, Gene Mikell, Gregory Rouse, John Smith and Terri Thomas hosted their second annual South Beach Party. The ladies and gents in attendance got the memo and were beautifully attired in pastels, linens and party attire.



eric sbeeach

This year’s featured artist was Eric Darius, an ambitious saxophonist who has shared the stage with everyone from Prince, Carlos Santana and Wynton Marsalis to Wyclef Jean, George Benson and Brian McKnight. Darius is not your typical “smooth jazz” guy. He has scored #1 on the Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts and has several top ten hits. Along with the N-Motion Band, he blew the crowd away.

EXTRAORDINARY SAXOPHONIST—Eric Darius (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)

N-Motion also took a pause to recognize community leaders. Donna Baxter, CEO of Soul Pitt Media; Dr. Nelson Harrison, founder of the Pittsburgh Jazz Network; and Bill Peduto, Democratic mayoral nominee were honored. Guests enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres and an after party that featured line dancing with Roland Ford, Urban Ballroom dancing with Bill Ford and DJ Mike the Punisher on the wheels of steel.

Hopson says this is going to be an annual event and they will continue to bring in live entertainment to the city of Pittsburgh. August 9 will be the first Jazz on the Green at the Grandview Golf Course in Braddock Hills.


HONOREES—Bill Peduto, Donna Baxter and Nelson Harrison


BEAUTIFUL TRIO—Brenda Burke, Kimberly Rouse and Amy Rockenstein


SOUTH BEACH STYLE—Dalisha Small and Sabrina Clark

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Comment by Roberta Windle on August 1, 2013 at 10:49pm

What a perfect evening, despite the rain. A beautiful crowd, entertainment and great food. Mr. Darius performed the perfect act with energy galore. So glad to have attended. BTW, the other band members were fabulous as well. Congratulation to the Honorees of the Evening. So very deserving and dedicated. Looking forward to additional planned events.

Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 7:02am
  • Sisters Marlene Ellis and Joy Sato.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 7:00am
  • Tony Harris and Debbie Norrell.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 6:59am
  • From left, Terry Brown, Char Hardin, Jacquelyn Wilmer, and Shari Nowlin.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 6:57am
  • Honorees Bill Peduto, Donna Baxter and Nelson Harrison.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 6:55am
  • Eric Darius.
Comment by Dr. Nelson Harrison on August 1, 2013 at 6:51am

Sora Pineda and Martez Hopson.

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