The Pittsburgh jazz community has fostered diversity across sectarian lines of race, gender, age and socioeconomic factors for decades. Learn about the depth of the jazz scene of the 60s through the present with highlights from the erstwhile Crawford Grill #2. Dive into how mentorship was the most effective way to learn the complete language of jazz, with a focus on lessons in life–not just didactic skills.
Follow storyteller Dr. Nelson Harrison through this journey of how jazz is unlimited creativity, and a natural sequel to true training. Follow the journey of jazz as the only art form officially designated as a National Treasure and learn how the journalist labeling of styles of music is anathema to a true jazz musician who has the ability to play all music.
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This story was recorded on January 17, 2022.
Nelson E. Harrison is a Ph. D. in clinical psychology, educator, composer, archivist, lyricist, arranger, speaker, veteran trombonist of the Count Basie Orchestra, active musician on the Pittsburgh market for 65 years spanning music genres from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Civic Light Opera, blues, top jazz clubs, Dixieland, klezmer, weddings, top 40, cabarets, dance bands, stage bands, etc.
He has produced shows at Heinz Hall and composed musical scores for plays by August Wilson and others. He has headlined bands for local jazz festivals and toured the world performing at festivals from New Orleans, Edinboro, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Japan, New York, London, etc. He has produced TV shows for PBS, PCTV and been interviewed for many radio shows locally and on blog-talk radio.
Nelson has mentored several generations of jazz students who have become major recording artists and performers today. He has received many awards and citations spanning from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, IAJE, MCG, and 6 lifetime Achievement Awards.