Welcome to the Jungle, a historic basketball court in the heart of Pittsburgh's Northside. This court has seen greatness from all sides of the city. A once-happening epicenter of basketball, the Jungle has seen better days.
In January 2020, we had a vision to renovate a basketball court, displaying the connection between basketball & jazz, the history of jazz music in PG(H), & the importance of "The Jungle". With that we knew who to pitch to, Janel Young, Pittsburgh's pioneer of "artistic basketball courts." Team building didn't stop there, Hannah Hunter of Swishh Dreams, a court-saving organization, was a piece to solve the puzzle.
2020's devastating issues halted our vision, something we had no control over. Years went by & funding was non-existent for a project such as this (understandably so).
Then all of a sudden, there was hope. In March 2023, Janel shared a renovation giveaway, "Every Court Has a Story," courtesy of Five-Star Basketball, Project Backboard, and Local Hoops. The objective was to narrate the tale of your court, which we accomplished through film.
We were amazed when the opportunity arose. Our vision needed a special touch, and we found it in Diarra Imani, an Emmy-nominated spoken word artist. The way she told the story with such emotion was genuinely inspiring. The addition of "Limehouse Blues'' by Roy Eldridge, a Northside native, and Dizzy Gillespie really tied it all together. Finally, the film welcomed H'enri Wade-Chatman as its actor. He is a professional basketball player who grew up playing at the Jungle. Together, we created a powerful and moving piece, "A Northside Solo."
an Emmy-nominated spoken word artist, shared a touching story that struck an emotional chord in all aspects of "A Northside Solo." Her connection to Pittsburgh's Jazz history runs deep with her grandmother, Gladys Nesbit, who sang opera with the National Opera House and performed all over the Hill District as a soprano songstress.
H’enri Wade Chatman, a professional basketball player, shares countless memories of the Jungle like many other Pittsburgh natives. Through pick-up games, tournaments, & the love of basketball, he is no stranger to this iconic Northside court. H’enri’s grandfather was a musician in the Pittsburgh jazz community, connecting him with this city’s great Jazz history.
A collaboration between Hounds, Janel Young, and Swishh Dreams has resulted in a long-awaited project. Despite facing obstacles, the team crafted a compelling story that birthed "A Northside Solo." The "Every Court Has a Story" initiative inspired us to produce an impactful and emotionally charged film. Additionally, we partnered with Mars Jackson, a renowned figure in Pittsburgh, who curated a playlist that blends basketball and jazz seamlessly. The result is a powerful and moving project we are proud to share.