Jazz has often been dubbed “America’s Classical Music” and celebrated for its widespread presence throughout the nation and around the world. However, little is known about the many thriving regional scenes outside of the canonical few, such as New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Kansas City and Los Angeles. By using the novel Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet (2009) as a springboard into the subject, this presentation highlights the Seattle jazz scene during the WWII years. Particular emphasis will be placed on the prominence of Jackson Street in the Central District, including the most popular clubs and venues, significant local musicians and the rise of such internationally-known musicians as Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, and Ernestine Anderson.
Dr. Ray Briggs is an Associate Professor of Music and Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at California State University, Long Beach where he has taught since 2003. Trained as an ethnomusicologist, he is also a professional jazz saxophonist. Dr. Briggs is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the history of jazz in Memphis (forthcoming via University of Michigan Press).
Huntington Beach Reads One Book, in honor of their 2017 book selection, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, will be holding a panel discussion featuring Yoshio Nakamura and his wife of 66 years, Grace Shinoda Nakamura.
The Nakamuras will share their experiences as Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Mr. Nakamura served in the Armed Forces during WWII and was recently awarded the French Foreign Legion Medal of Honor recognizing his service and contributions during the war.