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

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn....

is just to love, and be loved, in return...." -  Eden Ahbez’s final phrase in his composition “Nature Boy”, first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1948, is one if the songs I shall sing this Friday October 2, 2015 at my first show back home since my grand adventures across the sea! I saw many things in the world, beautiful people, music, food, art, culture, I saw a world where things can go very hard for people without friends, but amazingly, wherever I went, I found old friends I hadn’t seen in many years, and I also made many new ones. I went looking for musicians, artists, dancers and boy howdy did I find them! We are in the thick of editing the footage and I am just amazed by how many creative and dedicated souls there are in this world and it gives me hope that enough of us are working towards a kinder and brighter tomorrow….


Please come this Friday Oct 2, 2015 to James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy, in the Northside of Pittsburgh, PA, from 8 pm - midnight. Tickets are only $5 at the door and there is plenty of good food and great drinks to tempt your palate! I am really excited to perform with my friends and musicians the High Priestess Donna Davis - piano, Tony DePaolis - bass, Reggie Watkins - trombone and JT “Smitty” Smith - drums. It’s been way too long and I have missed them and you, dearly. Please come on out to see the show and support a club which has been featuring live music for decades.


Next week on Friday Oct 9 at 8 pm at the Bulgarian Macedonia Center in Homestead, PA, I am singing for my friends Maria Hamer and Christine Andrews at a performance of Raquy Danziger, middle eastern style darbuka percussionist and musician. She has played with the Egyptian National Orchestra, she is a really beautiful player and I am very excited to sing for two of our favorite bellydancers, the sisters Hamer!  

More info and pre sale ticketing available:


Save The Date!!!

Wednesday October 28, 2015, at Mr Smalls Theatre

Doors 7, show at 7:30 pm, Free show, under 21 $2

Creative.Life.Support Presents

the World Premiere of Video Shorts by "Take it to the Bridge with Phat Man Dee"

Featuring live performances by Phat Man Dee, Moe Seager - jazz poet from Paris, France,

Maria Hamer's Level One bellydance students, and boylesque sensation Smokin' McQueen!

We uploaded some new edits of some of my experiences in Paris since my last email to you….

Here is one Alistair shot and we edited up last week, my friend Moe Seager (who I am showcasing at the Mr Smalls show on Oct 28th) and I are jamming out on a little bridge over Canal St Martin :

Moe also took me to a little spot in the Oberkampf called Au Chat Noir which hosts Spoken Word Paris and I read my poem “Jim Crow is Alive and Well” we had just heard about Sandra Bland and I was yet again left wondering how many more people need to die before a rehaul of the “justice system” can occur. Here is the video from that experience:

Also, next week, my beautiful friend Vinsantos is coming up from New Orleans to perform at the Harris Theater as part of the Reel Q Film Festival. The movie shown that evening is “All About Evil” by Peaches Christ, other live performers to include Janite Granite and Bambi Dearest.

More info:

Love to you, may every day reflect how much I honor your presence in the world,



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