Looking forward to 2019, and a look back

Badi Assad

Badi Assad

This week on “The Scene,” we’ll look ahead to an innovative artist appearing at the Gist Street Sculpture Studio on January 19 - Brazilian guitarist, vocalist and mouth percussionist Badi Assad

As we thought about what to feature this week on The Scene, the NY Times remembrance of pianist, vocalist, composer Bob Dorough came to our screen. Known very well by his TV exposure through "Multiplication Rock” and “Schoolhouse Rock,” the Times called him “near legendary.”

Bob Dorough.png

We’ve always liked Bob Dorough - his ability to turn MATH and Government into cool tunes was not surprising at all. His renditions of Baltimore Oriole and ‘Tis Autumn were charming and hip, his “Blue Christmas” with Miles Davis was a pre-Peanuts expression of holiday angst before Charlie Brown ever met Vince Guaraldi. Bob was an adroit pianist, a witty songwriter and a musical force. We lost him in 2018 at the age of 94.

That got us to thinking of so many others who passed in 2018. In Pittsburgh, influential pianist and technician Duke Spaulding left us but also his legacy at the age of 95. We spoke with Peter Stumpf about some of Duke Spaulding’s unique contributions.

Band with George “Duke” Spaulding, Leroy Brown with saxophone, “Bass” McMahon with bass, and Robert “Bobby” Anderson holding drum sticks - Charles “Teenie” Harris - CMOA.org

Band with George “Duke” Spaulding, Leroy Brown with saxophone, “Bass” McMahon with bass, and Robert “Bobby” Anderson holding drum sticks - Charles “Teenie” Harris - CMOA.org

Though he had retired to Florida, Nathan Davis’ mark on Jazz Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and the world resonates, deeply.

Look back and remember (additions and corrections are welcome).:


Hugh Masekela, trumpeter, composer, bandleader, activist - 78

Marlene VerPlanck, vocalist - 84

Bill Hughes, trombone - 87

Chris Pangikas, Pittsburgh Pianist - 71


Leon Ndugu Chancler, percussionist - 65

George “Duke” Spaulding, pianist, technician - 95


Cecil Taylor, pianist, composer - 89

Bob Dorough, pianist, vocalist, composer - 94


Nathan Davis, saxophonist, educator - 81

Joseph Kennedy iII, Pittsburgh pianist and educator - 75


Lorraine Gordon, owner, Village Vanguard - 95

Matt “Guitar” Murphy - 88

Rebecca Paris, vocalist - 66


Henry Butler, pianist, vocalist, composer, photographer - 68

Patrick Williams, bandleader, composer, arranger - 79

Bill Watrous, trombonist - 79

John “Smitty” Smith, Pittsburgh drummer


Aretha Franklin, vocalist, pianist, queen of soul - 76


Randy Weston, pianist, composer - 92


Sonny Fortune, tenor saxophonist - 79

Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet - 69

Hamiet Bluiett, saxophonist - 78

John “Puggy” Thompson, Pittsburgh percussionist


Roy Hargrove, trumpeter, composer - 49

John Hughes, Pittsburgh Pianist - 93


Nancy Wilson, vocalist - 81

Kellye Gray, vocalist

Urbie Green, trombonist - 92

Tonight at six, Sunday afternoon at five - Looking forward and a remembering look back on WZUM.

Scott Hanley

Nathan Davis

Nathan Davis