Meltarrus Washington and the role of music in the desegregation of Fort Lewis

-- by Kim Davenport For her final paper in my Musical History of Tacoma class this past Spring, UW Tacoma student Sunny Cada explored the vital role that music played in helping along the desegregation of the US military, specifically citing the example of musician Meltarrus Washington. Sergeant Meltarrus "Mel" Washington (1919-2007) came to Fort Lewis in... Continue Reading →

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Coralie Flaskett: a snapshot of the role of women in Tacoma’s musical history

-- by Kim Davenport It is my pleasure to share a paper by my colleague, Dr. Michael Berry, in which he explores the life and musical career of Coralie Flaskett, a prominent piano performer and teacher who lived in Tacoma from 1890 until 1978. This paper originated as a talk given at the Washington State Historical Society... Continue Reading →

Generations of Tacoma Jazz

-- by Kim Davenport 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... Continue Reading →

Tacoma’s Dome: past and future

-- by Kim Davenport 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... Continue Reading →

A Life with Banjo Accompaniment

-- by Kim Davenport A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with my longtime neighbor, Loraine Lewis, to learn more about the history of the Tacoma Banjo Club, a group with which she has been involved since its inception in 1985. That 30+ year history was enough to engage my curiosity... Continue Reading →

Elvis at the Lincoln Bowl

-- by Kim Davenport 60 years ago this week - on September 1, 1957 - Elvis Presley performed a matinee concert at Tacoma's Lincoln Bowl as part of a five-show sweep of the Pacific Northwest over Labor Day weekend. A crowd numbering somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 enjoyed a fairly intimate performance, with seating... Continue Reading →

Tacoma Concert Band: 37 years and counting!

-- by Kim Davenport Concert bands have flourished in the United States since the 19th century. One of the most famous examples is John Philip Sousa, who led both the U.S. Marine Band and his own civilian ensemble in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  [Sousa's band performed in Tacoma, but that's another story for... Continue Reading →

Booster Songs for the City of Destiny

Thanks to a great audience at this talk!  If you missed the opportunity to attend in person, you can still view the presentation here! *** Want to learn more about Tacoma music history AND enjoy a great evening out at the same time?  Join Kim Davenport and special guest Ryan Bede for the August iteration... Continue Reading →

Bernice Newell’s ‘Artist Course’ Concerts

-- by Kim Davenport Don't miss this summer's exhibit at the Tacoma Historical Society, Showtime in Tacoma: Theaters and Performers. One of the highlights of the exhibit are artifacts from Bernice E. Newell, a newspaper writer, arts booster, and impresario who brought dozens of world-class musicians to Tacoma to perform in her 'Artist Course of... Continue Reading →

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