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.
too many to list.....Lee Robinson & Iska, Rodney McCoy & The Silk Band, The Brotherhood, Full Circle (this was truly the Dream Team!), House of Soul, etc, etc. etc...
Favorite Pittsburgh musicians/performers
I have had the opportunity to play with quite a few of Pittsburgh's talented musicians, to single out some would be a slight to the rest.....Arnold Stagger & John Hall are two of the city's best bass players, these are the 2 guys that I've have the best times sharing the rhythm section with! Brian Clarke, Donna Davis, Sonny Barbato, etc. etc.
Favorite Jazz Radio or media station
I usually listen to Sirius Satellite Radio, lots of selections when it comes to Jazz....
Favorite Pittsburgh Jazz Venue
I liked the OLD places that my dad used to take me to when I was a kid...K & S Lounge, The Encore, The Hurricane, Karl's Kork & Keg, The Crossroads, then when I started playing, these places were some of my favorite places to play...Small World, The Raspberry Rhinoceros, The Pyramid, The Balcony,TOO SWEET LOUNGE, The Zebra Room, damn I miss the good ol' days!
Drummer and vocals as well, love live music, miss performing with a lot of my musical friends, hope to see some of you guys around soon. I'm finally retired with plenty of time to come listen to some good Pittsburgh Jazz, hell maybe even sit in on a good old fashioned "Jam Session"....
Artist or Fan
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We miss you too. You have already brought back some fond memories in your profile answers. You will have a ball refreshing your mind here and you will feel right at home whenever you happen to come through. Please share some of your photos of your Dad and grandfather you may have. Thank your for joining and please add me as a friend.
80/81....Man I STILL remember that tune, Patagonia, Jean Pierre....you and Arnold taught me very well! "Avant Garde"...I will always remember what that means. Hope to see you around in the near future, Happy Holidays!