According to Al Smith's 2008 obituary in the Seattle Times, Smith never considered himself a professional photographer. But his photographs of the Central District, jazz clubs, and African American community in Seattle number in the tens of thousands, and their quality, depth, and breadth are unparalleled. In particular, his documentation of the Jackson Street jazz scene has helped preserve memories of a relatively fleeting but culturally formative time in our city's history. Smith's archive is gigantic, so selecting images for this exhibit will be tough, but there will almost certainly be shots of a few famous musicians touring through Seattle—he photographed legends including Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Jimmie Lunceford, Kathryn Dunham, Lionel Hampton, Erskine Hawkins, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.
860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109