Independent Historian

David Keller is an archivist  and historian with a strong interest in labor and jazz history.   Keller received his BA and MA degrees from Western Washington University.   He has written numerous articles for various publications including Los Angeles, Down Beat, Jazz Times, and most recently, COLUMBIA, where an extended version of this article first appeared.   He co-authored There and Back The Roy Porter Story, Louisiana State University Press, with this pioneering bebop drummer.   He has presented on this theme for the Society of American Archivists, Pacific Northwest Labor History Association, Society of California Archivists, and the Northwest Archivists.

As an archivist, Keller especially enjoys working with photographic collections.  He has contributed photos for exhibits by the Washington State Department of Transportation, the Lummi Nation, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the Northwest African American Museum.  At the latter, he also wrote copy for the black musicians’ union display in the current exhibit “After Hours The Joint Is Jumpin’”.  His research for this article is from a forthcoming pictorial history and was generously funded by 4 Culture.

Race, Gender, Jazz & Local 493: Black Women Musicians in Seattle: 1920-1955

During its brief and rocky tenure from 1918 to 1924, pianist Gertrude Harvey Wright was one of four women in Seattle’s first black musicians’ union, the American Federation of Musicians’ Local 458.  Wright,  Virginia Hughes, a “Mrs. Austin,” and (Edythe) “Turnham,” all worked with their … Read MoreRace, Gender, Jazz & Local 493: Black Women Musicians in Seattle: 1920-1955