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

Nancy Persinger's Comments

Comment Wall (14 comments)

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At 12:44am on August 20, 2020, Roberta Jean Windle said…

RIP, Nancy.

At 6:00pm on August 19, 2020, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Nancy was born on August 14, 1930 and passed away on Friday, August 23, 2019. Nancy received her Masters of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. A committal service will be held at Allegheny County Memorial Park on Tuesday at 11AM. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,

At 3:16am on September 9, 2019, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

At 8:21pm on September 1, 2019, Jagsu said…

Nancy, a wonderful lady and true lover of jazz. You always have a smile and an appreciative reception toward our musical offerings. Thanks! You are missed. Indeed.

At 10:36pm on August 29, 2019, Roberta Jean Windle said…

Rest in peace, Nancy. Such a beautiful woman and true friend of the Pgh Jazz Community. You will truly be missed.

At 4:06am on August 29, 2019, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Please leave your comments or a memory of Nancy here on her page which will remain permanently on this network. Also you can share any photos you might have.

I can see her now attending every gig of Gabriel's All Star Band.

At 4:03am on August 29, 2019, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Nancy's last text message to me on 8/15/19 the day after her 89th birthday:

"Thanks so much. I will always be indebted to you dear Nelson for taking me to the doorway to live jazz at Dowe's and opening it and encouraging this shy, elderly lady to enter.  t changed my life. Thank you, thank you."

Nancy's table at Dowe's every Wednesday on Roger Humphries Big Band night became known as the VIP table.  Her favorite song was "Violets" arranged by Mike Tomaro with Al Dowe as featured soloist.  She also like Sky Dive as sung by David Moore.

At 3:56am on August 29, 2019, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Our dear Nancy was the Grand Dame of Pittsburgh jazz fans. Whenever she was in the house, the musicians would flock to her table on their breaks because they appreciated her adoration so much.

At 3:53am on August 29, 2019, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…

Age 89, of North Hills Estates in Ross Twp., passed away on Friday, August 23, 2019. Wife of the late Henry Persinger; loving mother of Jack Wallace, Patricia "Tric" Garfunkel (Jules) and the late Tom Persinger (survived by Evelyn); proud grandmother of Tom, Jr. Russell, and Melissa; loving sister of Charles Sanford (Sylvia) and the late Howard Sanford (the late Helen); sister-in-law of Harry, Howard, and Richard Persinger; adored aunt of Mark Sanford, Jennifer Sovick (Chip), Maureen McKay (Thomas) and Alexia "Lexi" McMeekin (Shawn); also survived by loving relatives and friends. Friends will be received on Monday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, INC. 806 Perry Hwy., Ross Twp. A committal service will be held at Allegheny County Memorial Park on Tuesday at 11 a.m. Nancy received her Masters of Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She went on to become the Head Librarian at North Hills High School and most recently worked as a librarian at the Community College of Allegheny County, North Campus. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation,

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Aug. 25 to Aug. 26, 2019
At 6:38pm on May 4, 2011, Betsy said…

Are you still working?

Do you still have the same old email address?



At 1:35am on February 27, 2009, Jerry Butler said…
I would love to feature "you" as my guest on my show..If I am not your friend..please add me...also please call me @ the offc at 757 538 3540...757 971 3733 for on the banner below to be a guest...JB
At 11:14pm on February 19, 2009, Betsy said…
Hi Nancy. Let's catch up.
At 6:15pm on June 25, 2008, Jessie Wills said…
Hi Nancy,
I hope so too. Great to hear from you.
Miss ya!
At 7:07pm on May 5, 2008, Michele Bensen said…
Hi Nancy,
Nice to see you here. Hope you have a wonderful summer.

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