In the world of film and video, which, in the absence live concerts, has become the primary medium for jazz performance, the word “trailer” is essentially what they used to call “preview of coming attractions.” Next month, Earshot will stream its 2020 jazz festival. Hence, this issue, as the Earstream Trailer (riffing, of course, on the classic yet futuristic (like jazz) Airstream (if I need to mansplain) trailer). I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

As always, we’re working to create a series that reflects the history, progression, and spirit of jazz as it exists around the world and, especially, here in our home community. This year, we’re also going to be banking new skills as video producers, aspiring, with the best possible production values, to create an environment that successfully conveys the deep soul, beautiful structures, and spontaneous invention of “live” jazz performance. Again, I can’t wait to see where that takes us. Read further into this issue for details.

We’re putting on a jazz festival! In these unsettling times, our daily engagement with uncertainty and adaptability is bound to help us all build our chops at improvising for the long run. The old adage says, “with crisis comes opportunity.” With this year’s festival, we’re taking the opportunity to go deeper into our incredible home community, and to expand the context of art, feeling, equity, loss, history, love, sound, money, creativity, race, education, video, anger, face masks, work, peace, spirit, progression, and our responsibility to humanity, as they all relate to the cultural treasure of jazz and this amazing city of Seattle.

We’re grateful and eager to be working on a deeper level this year with Seattle’s hippest renaissance man, Ahamefule J. Oluo, as the festival’s Featured Resident Artist. Aham has cooked up some exceptional ideas, and we’re eager to dig in. Check out Paul Rauch’s cover story and interview with Aham in this issue on page 6.

Finally, to state a core belief: live jazz, with real people, in the same room, is one of the best things in the world. We feel that one more deeply each month. We’ll deal with video because we’re committed to connect the music with the audience. We are in service to jazz. We’ll do all that we can, and then some, but we can’t wait to get back into live performances. So, when this virtually futuristic Earstream pulls up at your device, get on board. There will be no such thing as Sold Out—Filled to Capacity. The sky is the limit. Come ON!

John Gilbreath, Executive Director