Black Elks Club


662 1/2 S. Jackson St.

In 1938, the Seatttle chapter of the Black Elks fraternal order moved its offices into the second floor of the beautiful Rainier Power and Heat Building on South Jackson Street and opened a social club that often featured jazz. A low-ceilinged room peppered with cocktail tables, the club sported a stuffed Elk near the door, behind which musicians recall smoking joints. he Black Elks was run by Melody Jones’ uncle, whom she convinced to hire Ray Charles when he arrived in Seattle that year. In the early ’50s, the Black Elks was home to the Cecil Young Quartet, whom Nat Cole once dropped by to hear after his downtown gig. Many white musicians of the ’40s and ’50s noted the collegial spirit between black and white at the Black Elks.

Jackson Street After Hours (print only).