Peter Walton

Student Historian

Born and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Peter moved to Seattle in 2004 to study at the University of Washington as an undergraduate.  Once a Jazz Studies – Performance major, Peter is now planning to graduate in the Spring of 2008 with a degree in History.  Peter is particularly interested in 20th century African American history.

Ornette Coleman (1930-2015)

Image Ownership: Public Domain It may be impossible today to understand fully the shock and outrage which alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s 1959 arrival in New York caused within the jazz community.  Coleman’s innovations freed his quartet from traditional structures of form, chordal harmony, tonality, and … Read MoreOrnette Coleman (1930-2015)

54th Massachusetts Infantry (1863-1865)

The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry was the first Northern black volunteer regiment enlisted to fight in the Civil War.  Its accomplished combat record led to the general recruitment of African-Americans as soldiers. They ultimately comprised ten percent of Union Army and Navy.  The Fifty-fourth’s successful campaign … Read More54th Massachusetts Infantry (1863-1865)

Eric Dolphy (1928-1964)

Image Ownership: Public Domain A definitive jazz multi-instrumentalist, Eric Dolphy established deeply original voices on his three primary instruments– the bass clarinet, alto saxophone, and flute.  Dolphy pioneered the use of the bass clarinet as a solo improvising instrument, and, with Coleman Hawkins and Sonny … Read MoreEric Dolphy (1928-1964)

Stanley Crouch (1945- )

Image Ownership: Public Domain Stanley Crouch is a tough-minded and controversial jazz critic, playwright, essayist, novelist, and percussionist.  After a personal intellectual transformation in the late 1970s, Crouch became the contemporary champion of traditionalist jazz – an identity which he has defined with both powerful … Read MoreStanley Crouch (1945- )

Horace Tapscott (1934-1999)

Image Ownership: Public Domain Pianist, bandleader, and social activist Horace Tapscott committed his life to the empowerment of his South Central Los Angeles community.  Tapscott founded the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra and its umbrella organization, the Union of God’s Musicians and Artists Ascension (UGMAA), both … Read MoreHorace Tapscott (1934-1999)