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

Dr. Nelson Harrison's Comments

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At 6:50am on June 17, 2012, Michael Gwynne said…

Good to be a part of this magnificent historical site. The lengthy list of formative names in music takes my breath away, just before I smile with my heart. Gonna get down there one day Nelson, count on you to show me some sites before a fine dinner.

At 3:48pm on June 6, 2012, d. e. salik gloster said…

your invitation alone was an inspiration to practice and study harder.  sorry i couldn't make the tuesday evening jam session.  i had to work. 

At 3:13am on May 29, 2012, Alexander Nichols said…
Bro. Harrison thanks for the notice on Chuck Austin. He was quite a guy and will be missed.
At 9:43pm on March 15, 2012, LaRe said…

Dr Nelson glad to finally be here! so funny you liked the few that you did! one is a slide show photo impression of a dear friend and talented Musician & Singer Ulysis Slaughter part of the Jazzberry Jam group before he passed here in Nyc, the dog looking in the phonograph is a shot I took before recording my new Album at Bennett Studios in Englewood NJ before they closed.. looking forward to peaking around Pittsburg's Jazz Shed! would love to come to Pitsburg to perform. My name is LaRe & I am a 10x award winning Jazz SInger & accomplished World Class Musician doing big things in Jazz..

At 9:13pm on December 15, 2011, Adam Johnston & James Street said…


I just wanted to let you know that I spoke with Bob, and we are both excited to get something going!!  Also the Pittsburgh Jazz Society has decided to hold their gatherings here every sunday starting Jan 8th.  I will keep you updated as things they develop...

At 1:11am on December 9, 2011, Adam Johnston & James Street said…


Great talking to you today!!  I am very excited to meet with you.  hopfully with your help, we can make the James Street swing for many years to come!!

At 1:48pm on October 16, 2011, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Thanks, Nelson.
This time I didn't have a chance to do this, the way things piled up.
But I value the Pittsburgh Jazz Network and the work you've done
to make this all happen. it is a great thing.

Roger Day
University of Pittsburgh Departments of Biomedical Informatics and
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
At 3:14am on October 16, 2011, Dr. Nelson Harrison said…
Hello Doc,

Just read the piece on Dodo. A musician that good, and that important, needs to be remembered. I'm learning things about Pittsburg, that I never knew,

thanks to your web site. Thanks. I've always said that it is Detroit, where the most Great jazz musicians come from. Pittsburg may be a very close second.

But I've learned it has a very rich jazz history too.

I'm presenting concerts in Baltimore again. Last month it was Steve Turre's Quintet, with our resident jazz great Larry Willis. Another great concert, and

well attended too. Next will be a singer from Detroit, Naima Shamborguer, with the Larry Willis Quartet. Steve Davis-trombone, Steve Novosel-bass,

Billy Williams-drums. That will be Nov.6th. I will attach a review that was written about the Turre gig, in a local Jazz Newsletter.

As I have said before, you are doing a great job with your Jazz Network. I hope to be lucky enough to meet you one day. Thanks for doing what you do.

Mike Binsky

At 2:59am on August 2, 2011, bob studebaker said…

Interesting.....please let me know if you find anything further, I'll do the same....another interesting side note in this city's richest, and most important cultural legacy.


Thanks again.....and thanks for keeping this site going.

At 6:17pm on July 9, 2011, Doug Jackson said…

Thank you,Sir. That means a lot coming from you.

Again, thank you very much.

Sir D.J.

At 1:56am on May 28, 2011, Linda M. Warn said…

I have discovered a new,  NEW JERSEY SOUL QUEEN--DELLA ROBINSON!

She needs to be heard worldwide and especially in PITTSBURGH!





At 1:47pm on April 27, 2011, tim max said…
htanks  nelson 
At 12:05pm on January 31, 2011, tim max said…
hello great   friend , hugs  , tim
At 1:56pm on January 24, 2011, Kim N Hines said…

Jazz is generations deep in me! I am leaving a link to my Grandfather's information.


My forte' is SOUND. I'm an engineer with an ear.      Peace, Love and SOUND........Kim

At 12:14am on January 15, 2011, orban julia said…
At 12:13am on January 15, 2011, orban julia said…
At 6:23am on December 17, 2010, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…
This Pittsburgh jazz Network has been a boon to helping connect with new and old friends, established artists in the great city and elsewhere. I have hit some of the happenings and always enjoyed listening. i want to get more listeners here then they can find their favorites and follow them and me too hopefully. i just need to keep practicing and studying!- kev
At 3:02am on December 17, 2010, Kevin Hurst, Sr. said…

Carl Carrington and I were at PITT together when Calvin Stemley was a grad student! Also I heard David Moore and thought he was awesome. A trumpet friend of mine Daryll Cogdell hooked me up with Dick Lilley when I needed a tenor for a band I had at PITT. David and Mr Lilley were very encouraging back then in the late 70s.Carl told me he ran into a drummer I grew up with named Ezell Jones in Baltimore. I am sure Dwayne Dolphin heard him in his Harrisburg travels. I have been giving Harrisburg folks the lowdown on Pgh jazz legacy and the chitlin circuit. Small world! - kevin

At 1:16am on December 7, 2010, Frank T. Williams IV (Spark Plug) said…
Derrick was a dear friend of mine and still to this day I think about him alot. I miss him. He was a very accomplished pianist. He was committed to education and jazz. He was a LOT of fun to be around. He told me many times that at some point he planned to come back east. I wanted him to come back to the DC area, but he had his I on Philly. What a loss. But, I clearly remember all the good times. Gigging with him. Joking with him. Having serious talks about this music we play. RIP my brother.
At 7:03pm on November 16, 2010, Linnette Ogolo said…
Hi Dr Harrison
I hope things are well with you and yours - and apologies for getting you back a few days late. I was searching frantically for some photo's of Jothan and myself and came across a couple (I have put them on my profile). I only actually heard that Jothan (ethnomusicologist extraordinaire) had passed by Associate Proffesor Niyi Coker (who had originally ran the 1st civil rights programme course at Alabama Birmingham. I hope that now I have reconnected with some of Jothan's musical associates that his spirit can live on. Peace to your friends and the loved ones you've left behind Jothan x

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