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, Parlanto 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.
Gene Stovall was trained musically at Duquesne University, Mary Pappert School of Music for Vocal Performance with Professor Maurene Budway and at the Pittsburgh School for the Creative and Performing Arts as a Vocal Performance Major by David Jennings Smith.
Stovall is currently working on a full length LP called "Letters To Lyric" which include the singles Heaven In The Meantime" and "If I Get To California". This album will be available for retail sale in January 2011. Stovall has two special edition mixtapes that are only available at live shows titled "Stovalian Method" and “The Kitchen Table”, which is a collection of songs that Stovall recorded at various kitchen tables throughout North America. He released his debut recording "Gene Stovall: Live @ The Shadow Lounge, PGH" in Summer of 2003.
Stovall spends his time singing and arranging vocal harmonies and is known for working with artist like Scientific Map, Eviction Notice, Junk Science, M-Dot, SMI, Tony DePaolis, Theolonious Stretch, J. Armstead Brown, Shade Cobain, Ursula Rucker, Carlos Pena, Billy Pilgrim, Famous Mr. Nobodies, Poogie Bell Band, Margot B., Reggie Watkins, Boaz, Wiz Khalifa, The Rhetoric, Jack Wilson, Kid A, Yours Truely, The Boogie Hustlers, Carolyn Perteete, Scientific Map, Glory Box, The AUDIBLE, and Darkslider of the Moon.
Stovall will launch his own record label and media arts company called Stovallian Arts and Entertainment in January of 2011 . In 2006, Stovall co-founded Seriendipitty Entertainment Sarah Jive, a Gannon University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater and Communications Arts. Seriendipitty Entertainment bridges the gap between regional underground performing acts and open minded live music venues.
Stovall has brought people joy as performing artist, MC, and host for special events which include the opening act for Def Jam Recording Artist Method Man and Redman at Altar Bar (2010), opening act for Duckdown/W.A.R. Media Recording Artist Pharoahe Monch at Shadow Lounge (2010), opening act for Jive and Duckdown Recording Artist KRS-ONE at Shadow Lounge (2010), The Urban League's 14th Annual Ronald H. Brown Leadership Awards Gala at the Westin Hotel Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA (2009), "CONTRAST: Earth, Wind, and Fire vs Dave Matthews Band Tribute Show" at Hard Rock Cafe Pittsburgh (2010), opening act for EMI Recording Artist Raekwon The Chef at Mr. Small's Funhouse (2009), “Darkslider of the Moon: A Tribute To Pink Floyd” at Docksider Tavern (2009), “CONTRAST: Wu Tang vs Nirvana” at Docksider Tavern (2009), opening act for FiveSixMedia Recording Artist Ursula Rucker at California University of Pennsylvania (2009), host of the Pittsburgh Cares 2009 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrate the Dream Event at the Manchester Craftman’s Guild, Pittsburgh, PA (2009), The Urban League's 13th Annual Ronald H. Brown Leadership Awards Gala at the Westin Hotel Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA (2008), Pittsburgh’s 49th Annual Light Up Night Celebration in Downtown, Pittsburgh, PA (2008), opening act for Rhino/Electra Recording Artist Howard Hewitt and MCA Recording Artist Lenny Williams at the Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead, PA (2008), Jive Records Recording Artist KRS-1 and Rhymesayers Entertainment Recording Artist Atmosphere at SCRIBBLE JAM 2008 in Cincinnati with Famous Mr. Nobodies (2008), Embedded Music Recording Artist Junk Science, Bisc 1, Iller Than Theirs, and Loer Velocity at Shadow Lounge (2008), Def Jam Recording Artist Redman/Method Man at The Madhatter in Covington, KY with Famous Mr. Nobodies (2008), Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist, Van Hunt at Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh’s Station Square (2008), opening act for Triple Threat Recording Artist J Live at Shadow Lounge (2008), opening act for Loud Minority Music Recording Artist Tanya Morgan at Shadow Lounge (2008), and opening act for Matador Recording Artist Large Professor at Brillobox (2008).
Hope you don't mind, I listened to your jam(s) here and your myspace page- as the huricane(Ike) cames to shore. I love mother nature and her forcefulness, just as much as I love go smooth music like yours. a perrfect match ...
Peace until next time.
p.s. I know this kid in the hood here, his voice is sick,he's mostly Opera but the dude can sing, his young but hay gotta start somewhere. I'd like to give you his myspace page, go check him out . He sang with Harold Betters at Penn State a few months ago and he was sweet. Like I said he's young but I thought he would enjoy your sound and maybe get a few pointers from you.