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

TURN UP THE HEAT - BNY Mellon presents Michele Bensen & the Bensen Burners

Turn Up the Heat!
ACFL&MH Acquires Rare Collection of
Lincoln Photographs


Michele Bensen & the Bensen Burners
Saturday January 24 at 8:00 p.m.
Michele Bensen returns to Carnegie Carnegie Hall bringing
a little sizzle to ease the bleak mid-winter doldrums.

Football is anathema to arts and cultural programming.  “You just can’t fight it in Pittsburgh,” laughs ACFL&MH Executive Director Maggie Forbes, who always checks the Steelers’
schedule before scheduling a special performance.

Which is why Forbes has had her eye on the weekend between the last NFL playoff game and the Super Bowl. “We’d like to carve out that weekend without NFL football as one that belongs to Carnegie Carnegie Hall. We can’t think of a better performer to end the ‘Bye Weekend Blues’ than Pittsburgh jazz great Michele Bensen.”

Michele Bensen is a standout jazz vocalist, a hometown girl (since age 6) who has been singing professionally since she was 18. Her career has taken her up and down the East Coast and to the Caribbean, and her talents are widely recognized. She was inducted into The Pittsburgh Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009 and, in 2013, was the first of only two women honored by the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a Living Jazz Legend.

Ms. Bensen has sung at Carnegie Carnegie Hall once before. She was a last minute substitute for indisposed vocalist Maureen Budway in BNY Mellon Jazz Presents A Gala Tribute to Joe Negri at the Music Hall in 2011. There was instant chemistry between her and Carnegie Carnegie Hall’s superb acoustics and intimate historic character.

She has since been a headliner at the last two Carnegie Celebrates Jazz events in September.  Michele was part of a long and impressive roster of performers this fall, and sang a short set
that brought the audience to its feet. Forbes thought it was time that Bensen had a night to herself. “I contacted her and she said she’d love to come back to the Music Hall!” 

The stage will belong to Ms. Bensen for January’s concert. She will perform with featured musicians Robbie Kline on sax and flute, “Catch 22’s” gifted guitarist Ken Karsh and
pianist, bassist and percussionist to be determined. Ms. Bensen will open with a 45-minute set and take a break. Wine, beer and snacks will be for sale in the Studio before the concert and during intermission. Ms. Bensen & the Bensen Burners will return after intermission for
a longer set. “We’ll just see how long it goes,” promises Bensen.

Turn Up the Heat! BNY Mellon
Presents Michele Bensen& the Bensen
Burners takes place on Saturday,
January 24 at 8:00 p.m. The doors open at 7:00. Tickets are
$20, available at or at the door. For
information call 412-276-3456, x6.
The concert is the second in the ACFL&MH’s Listen Locally
series, which is underwritten by Papa J’s Ristorante.

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