Independent Historian

David Keller is an archivist and historian with a strong interest in labor and jazz history. Keller attended Fairhaven College and earned an MA in US History with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from Western Washington University. He has written articles for The Living Past, Los Angeles, Down Beat, Jazz Times, and COLUMBIA. In 1991 he co-authored “There and Back The Roy Porter Story” with the pioneering bop drummer for Louisiana State University Press. Receiving grant support from King County’s 4 Culture in 2013, he published “The Blue Note — Seattle’s Black Musicians’ Union — A Pictorial History.”

As an archivist, Keller has contributed to exhibits at the Northwest Regional Branch— Washington State Archives, Washington State Department of Transportation, the Lummi Nation, the Northwest African American Museum, and in California at the Federal Reserve and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Retiring from Metropolitan after 17 years of archival and historical work, he next wrote about his mother, Joanne Keller, in The Odessa Record.  Recently he penned liner notes for two Paris-based Dark Tree Records CDs developed from earlier recordings he co-produced: “Roberto Miranda’s Home Music Ensemble – Live At Bing Theatre, Los Angeles, 1985;” and “Legacies For Our Grandchildren – Live in Hollywood 1995,” by the Horace Tapscott Quintet.

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