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


I was asked recently by a young musician how I could still make a living doing music after all these years. I thought about it and realized my secret to continue to gig 5,6 or9 tiumes a week. It was simple ,I give back. The more benefits and freebies I do, I more work I can get. To think about helping those that need a smile, a little hope and plenty love.

My cameraman ,producer for my film projects in Pittsburgh, Victor, one of the best in the world. He has worked Hollywood for twenty years, has filmed my projects for so little money.He is a brother but he is of Russian heritage,white, he treaveled with me to film on the Hill, Bolack Beauty, on Fifth Avenue, He filmed from Homewood to the Hill and the Northside.

He sent me this yesterday.......Leo,

Maybe you can help me... My Fiancée is a NEW organizer for the SEIU. You might remember me speaking to you about it. Well, she is in charge of helping to start the CONSUMER WORKFORCE COUNCIL, which is a consumer directed board charged with protecting the rights of seniors and people with disabilities to direct their own care while ensuring that attendants who care for them can advocate for better wages, access to healthcare, and training. Organizations like AARP have endorsed this. She is working on creating this council in PA. It currently exists in only 5 other states. What has helped in getting it started in other states is having HIGH PROFILE organizations, and celebrities/politicians/actors come out to say they are in favor of such a Council. She went knocking on doors for a month and a half with the SEIU to help get Obama elected. She is currently trying to get organizations like the NAACP, local churches, and some prominent business people to support the effort...if only to say they endorse it. I KNOW you know a TON of influential people in this area. Is there any way you can help me/her with some of your contacts...or even some of your famous friends?

She is STILL in the "probationary period" of her job...SHE NEEDS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE...and if she doesn't produce something big...she's out of a job, and I'll be flipping burgers at McDonalds to make rent money, instead of shooting EARTH CHANGING documentaries for guys like you. If you have ANY IDEAS on how to get some support for this GREAT cause, please let me know. Besides...I'm not getting ANY younger, and I might need this Council's help SOONER than I think.



Views: 22


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

Join Pittsburgh Jazz Network

Comment by Ed Skirtich on November 23, 2008 at 11:47pm

Yeah, you made some nice points, but I disagree that musicians should play for free.

Music and the arts are professions, and when you achieve the status of being a professional musician/music educator, you deserve to be paid.

Musicians and artists, and actors work extremely hard and must constantly practice and rehearse to maintain the status of being a professional musician/music educatior/artist/actor/actress.

Musicians, artists, and actors have to pay the bills too, so all of us artists deserve to be paid.

Working in the arts is a job- Because the janitor gets paid, the securoty guard gets paid, the photographer gets paid.

Why is it that everybody insists on musicians should play for free?

I have a college degree in music, and deserve to be paid.

Also, I enjoy playing gigs and Outreach Programs, but we've been gettin' pay for $50 each, and I think it's time for the funding to increase and not decrease in pay or decrease the amount of musicians.

So I think the community at-large and the schools needs to step it up with the funding.

Sincerely and Musically,
Ed Skirtich
Artistic Director/Jazz Workshop, Inc.
(412) 422-4149 (H)
(412) 841-8046 (C)

© 2022   Created by Dr. Nelson Harrison.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service