One of the most influential jazz pianists of all time was born in Pittsburgh on June 15, 1921. His name was Erroll Garner. His best known composition, “Misty,” is a lush ballad that has been recorded by hundreds of vocalists over the years. “Misty” was featured in the Clint Eastwood movie, “Play Misty for Me.”
On Feb. 11, at Alumni Hall, the University of Pittsburgh presented their annual K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month program. This year’s feature was “The Lasting Legacy of the Great Errol Garner.” Despite the cold evening, there was a large crowd on hand to enjoy a reception and an exciting program. Kathy Humphrey (senior vice president for engagement, chief of staff and secretary of the Board of Trustees for the University of Pittsburgh) served as a vibrant mistress of ceremonies and introduced University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, the Afro American Music Institute Boys Choir, and a video and musical tribute to Erroll Garner. The live musical tribute featured Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Geri Allen, Victor Lewis on drums and former Erroll Garner bassist, Ernest McCarty Jr. Many said they did not want the evening to end.