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

Who is WKCR but, more importantly, why listen?

The station's Jazz programming concept is unique. At its foundation is an extensive Jazz archive (on premises), which houses a vast collection of Jazz music, Jazz interviews and Jazz music rarities. (Thelonious Monk's FIRST recording BEFORE he ever recorded is housed in the archive!) The WKCR concept also stresses the importance of nurturing a new Jazz audience. Students involved at KCR are mentored by Jazz experts. The students are encouraged to explore the archive, while receiving insight, into the music, from their mentors. When ready, the students broadcast live and many share their researched interests.

The mentors/experts are not without air-time. They broadcast at specific times throughout the week and the programming is LIVE.  (For example, Phil Schaap on his weekday morning "Bird Flight", explores the music of Charlie Parker.)

Throughout the year, specific dates have been marked for the annual Birthday Broadcasts; Pittsburgh's Roy Eldridge among them.  Sadly, all programming is interrupted for the, unexpected, Memorial Broadcasts.

The station is not NPR affiliated, the broadcasts are live and the "experts" are actually experts. They provide deeper insight into the music, through their knowledge and scholarship. The KCR audience comprises the uninitiated, and the Jazz novice to the Jazz cognoscenti.

I have no affiliation with WKCR, other than as a listener.

As a transplanted Jazz fan, from Pittsbugh, (South Hills High School), I'm remain an advocate for Pittsburgh's Jazz legends and its Jazz history. The Pittsburgh Jazz audience remains a knowledgeable and savvy listener and WKCR is a perfect match. Support the concept by listening.  It is vital we keep Jazz alive! 

WKCR 89.9 FM  - NYC.

Internet access at

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