Seattle has played a key role in American music history. It was responsible for promoting the Jazz careers of greats such as Ray Charles and Quincy Jones, among others. The others include: perhaps the greatest guitarist of our time, Jimi Hendrix, and the grunge rockers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Woody Guthrie had a lengthy stay in the 1920s. The post war era brought the great Quincy Jones. The Sixties featured The Fleetwoods, and The Kingsmen, of “Louie, Louie” fame. The surfing music scene brought Paul Revere and the Raiders, along with the Ventures.
But the underlying reason, in my opinion, for the success of Seattle music are the many venues around the city for music. Three of my favorites are: The Triple Door, Jazz Alley, and the Experience Music Project (EMP) founded by Paul Allen. Numerous smaller places are big supporters, like The Showbox, The Crocodile, The Tractor Tavern, and Pine Street Theater.
Each time we visit Seattle, I know I can always find some live music for the evening. Plenty of big names visit Seattle, and fill the big venues like the WaMu Theater, and Seattle Center. But I’m talking about the smaller, neighborhood joints, some with little bars and cafes, some just a bunch of folding chairs and a makeshift stage.