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.
Monica Chapman was born in Romania and came to Canada with her family at the age of nine at which time she began to study piano. She attained her degree in piano performance(A.R.C.T.) and voice and the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto as well as a Bachelor or Arts Degree from York University.
Her early interest in musical theatre led to a role with the Toronto Operetta Theatre Company in their production of The Widow in 2004. She also appeared in several musical variety productions at the Grand Theatre in Fergus, Capitol Theatre in Port Hope and Victoria Hall in Cobourg.In 2004 she recorded a CD titled Sincerely, featuring Broadway show tunes.
From classical music to musical theatre, Monica has evolved into a jazz performer over the past five years and she appears at jazz venues throughout Toronto and beyond. She has been backed by talented musicians whom she thanks immensely: Norm Amadio, Sean Bray, Mark Dunn, Jordan Klapman and Joshua Goodman.
Monica is inspired by such jazz legends as Ella Fitzerald, Sarah Vaughan and Cleo Laine, but makes the music you are about to hear very much her own.
Her debut CD entitled "Heart's Desire" has superb musicians backing her: Jordan Klapman/piano, Jack Zorawski/bass, Glenn Anderson/drums, Tony Quarrington/guitar and Igor Babich/saxophone. Her CD is enjoying worldwide exposure on radio shows throughout Europe and the States.
Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words you sent me here for the New Year. I wish you the same. You are an amazing artist and would be honored to meet you someday! Amazing things have been happening to me. My music is being featured on radio shows all over Europe and giving me worldwide exposure. It's more than I ever immagined. I am preparing for my CD Release Party, Sat. Jan. 23rd at The Annex Live in Toronto, 296 Brunswick Ave. Tel. 416-929-3999 with superb musicians that also played on my CD. They are listen on my profile page here. I hope to have the pleasure to meet you in person soon!May 2010 be filled with many blessings and I'm sending you all my love, Monica.
Wishing you wings to fly, the vision to dream wildly, The Heart to love deeply and the spirit to embrace all beauty in life..may you have a prosperous New Year with endless good health, wealth and happiness in 2010. Peace and blessings profound!