Original Jazz Fox-Trot, Published in Tacoma

A few years back, I spent a good portion of my free time researching 'booster songs' about Tacoma, in preparation for a talk I gave in August of 2017. In the early decades of the 20th century, booster songs were published in cities around America as musical representations of civic pride. Tacoma was no exception,... Continue Reading →

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

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 1944 as the drum... 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 →

Diane Schuur

In a career now spanning four decades, Tacoma native Diane Schuur has shared with audiences worldwide her love of American jazz.  The grammy winner known for her "pitch-perfect execution and crystalline, three-and-a-half-octave vocal range" has collaborated on stage and in recordings with a wide range of prominent musicians from a variety of genres, including B.B.... Continue Reading →

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