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


Comment Wall (13 comments)

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At 6:15pm on November 23, 2009, Devorah Segall said…
I am shocked to just find out here, today, that Sandy Staley has passed..I am so saddened by this.
Sandy meant so much to me, and always will.
What a blessing to this world.
She was a swinging triumphant spirit throughout everything and her music, her generosity, her humor, her brilliance= her essence will always be an inspiration.

I miss you Sandy. Thank you for being here and for being my friend.
love and prayers,
At 5:05am on September 12, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Dear Friends,

I hope that you can join us this coming Sunday at Schenley Plaza for a wonderful day of JAZZ, for the Pittsburgh Jazz Society Picnic!

I'm happy to be singing during the "Diva" section of the program at 1:30pm. See below schedule.

I want you to also know that I will there for most of the day sitting at the PJS table selling my dear friend Sandy Staley's CD, "Everything I love" for $15.00. Most of you on this email address list have already heard of her passing on September 1st. It's a terrible loss for the world and for the Pittsburgh Jazz scene.

I hope you will stop at the PJS table and treat yourself by buying one or more CD's of this great artist.

She was one of a kind and no one could ever take her place.

Michele Bensen
At 11:44pm on September 5, 2009, Buster Maxwell said…
Sandy, we miss you. Every vocalist in Pittsburgh has been inspired by you. Godspeed on your journey...
At 3:58pm on September 4, 2009, Sue Russell said…
I'm so sad to learn of Sandy's death. I studied with her briefly at Duquesne 25 years ago. I always think of her when I'm choosing songs or finding my own way into the lyric. We've kept in touch off and on through the years. She was an original...the real thing, and not enough known.
At 2:03am on September 4, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
At 12:54am on September 4, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
At 12:44am on September 4, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
At 3:45pm on September 3, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

We miss you so much! You pages will remain active so members and friends can post comments in your honor.
At 3:42pm on September 3, 2009, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Hi all,

Sad news for the Pittsburgh jazz community.... Michelle Benson called me yesterday to tell me that our dear friend Sandy Staley passed away at Forbes Hospice Tuesday evening. There will be no viewing, no service. A memorial service will be held later at a time and location to be announced.

Let's be thankful that her suffering is now over.

At 5:54pm on May 5, 2009, Jack Cenna said…
Sandy, I gave your email address to my friend/DJ/ drummer, his name is John Nasshan, he is going to email you about your CD, that way theres no middle man {me}. Jack Cenna
At 4:49pm on May 4, 2009, Jack Cenna said…
Hi Sandy, I spoke to a friend of mine that's a DJ on kunv, the radio station of The University of Nevada Las Vegas { a jazz station, 24/7} and I told him about you and your CD. The station doesn't purchase CD's but if you sent one, it be be given air time and played. Don't know if your interested or not, let me know and I'll email you the station's address. Jack Cenna
At 2:01am on February 27, 2009, Michele Bensen said…
How you doin' girl? We're looking forward to hearing you nest Tuesday at Spin.The weather is getting better so it's time to bring out your spring frocks!
Love ya,
At 7:20pm on February 14, 2009, Jack Cenna said…
Sandy, WOW, it has been a very long time since we've spoke, seen or worked together, but one thing has remained constant and vivid and that's memory of working with you ,Bobby Negri and Davd La Rocca at the" Old Allegheny" across from Heinz Hall. You know I'm not and never have been what some people call a jazz drummer, I'm just a commercial musician. When I was called to play with you. Bobby and Dave I was in the presence of great talent and was always honored and thrilled to have gone for that ride. Sandy, I have worked for the best in the industry and I mean this { I'm not one to mince words, I say what I feel and mean what I say} You are a great singer and second to none. Please stay well and let's try to stay in touch. Jack Cenna

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