Musical History of Tacoma

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Joe Jordan, Tacoma, and “Dear Lincoln”

The image above is the 1915 passport photo of Joseph Zachariah Taylor "Joe" Jordan, who was born in 1882 in Cinncinnati, Ohio, and enjoyed the last few decades of his life in Tacoma, where he passed away in 1971. Joe Jordan was a composer, arranger and pianist who made substantial contributions to ragtime. His long and... Continue Reading →

Loretta Lynn, Buck Owens, and KTNT

Many of the stories we've shared here are about homegrown Tacoma musicians. Occasionally, though, we stumble on an interesting coincidence of history, a moment in time when Tacoma played a significant role in the career of a musician from elsewhere. Such is the tale of how an appearance on Tacoma television would lead to recording... Continue Reading →

Nirvana’s Tacoma Connections

  For her final paper in my Musical History of Tacoma class at UW Tacoma, student Kaisa Cannon decided to explore her father's favorite band, Nirvana, and determine whether the band typically associated with Seattle had any roots in Tacoma. Even a casual devotee of the grunge group would likely guess the answer to be yes,... Continue Reading →

Generations of Tacoma Jazz

A research project in my 'Musical History of Tacoma' class gave UW Tacoma student Tyler Wicke the opportunity to learn more about his own family's legacy of musical activity in Tacoma. In his paper and presentation, Tyler shares what he learned about how Jazz first became popular in Tacoma, as well as how members of... Continue Reading →

Tacoma’s Dome: past and future

For many UW Tacoma students, the Tacoma Dome symbolizes the site where they will celebrate their graduation at the conclusion of their studies. But for those who take my 'Musical History of Tacoma' class, it can take on additional significance: as a venue which has hosted a wide range of musical visitors over the past... Continue Reading →

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