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

Tomorrow last day to donate to Social Justice Disco on IndieGogo!

Dearest of friends, it has been a hard year.... and as much as I understand all who say "can't wait till this year is done" I think to myself, "but you don't know how much worse it could become...." I do know, that I am deeply grateful for all the incredible people I have in my life, my fellow artists, my audience, my friends and family.... and I am not willing to see them abused by those who voted for our President-elect. That is why I am focusing on producing music with Liz Berlin, she and I have been working on this album and we've been on the radio and also some podcasts; meanwhile we've been teaching our students and doing our shows and just trying to spend time with our families and hold them close during the holidays. 

Our campaign through indiegogo ends at midnight tomorrow, Friday, Dec 30, 2016, and we may not make our goal. We have made enough to cover cost of pressing the cd's, but not really enough to pay the musicians what they are really worth, cover studio time, or have a decent marketing budget of any kind. If you could please send this out on your social media, directly to any friend or family, we would deeply appreciate it. 

Here is the link, please share it, please support it. We need you to help us make this music happen. Donations are tax deductible.

With our fundraiser ending tomorrow, it is clearer than ever that we absolutely must get this recording into the world. To quote the activists of ACT UP "Silence = Death". We also feel Eldridge Cleaver words also ring very true today, "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Mahatma Gandhi's "Be the change you wish to see in the world"speaks to us as well...all of these inspire us as artists and musicians to create the music we wish to hear in the world, music from us who shall not be silent in the face of oppression, but will inspire us all to get up and dance for a world we wish to live in. In biblical times, the armies would send forth the musicians first, when Joshuay brought down the walls of Jericho, he did so blowing  ram's horn.... while we haven't worked a ram's horn into any of the arrangements yet, if we get enough to cover the horn players.... ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!! 

We must all stand together against all forms of oppression, environmental devastation, racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, all of it is part of the same thing and we must fix it for the sake of our world and everyone trying to live freely in it. 

Thank you for everything, please help us make this final last push! 

Some video for you!

Liz and Mandee editing "Your Racist Friend" at Mr Smalls Recording Studio!

Mandee and Liz and Mark F Strickland on WNJR on T Mitchell Bell's show "Acoustic Songs" :

Then later the same night as the appearance on WNJR with T Mitchell Bell, Mandee and Liz sing "Hallelujah" at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls

If you missed the show itself, here's a link to the playlist from my favorite parts: 

One love and thank you for being part of this process, we appreciate you so much!!!!!!


PS The donation link in case you missed it!!!

PPS Love yinz. I really do. 

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