Charmed by Earshot’s distinctive programming after dipping a toe in the water as a volunteer in 1990, John Gilbreath’s ongoing immersion into the Earshot Jazz organization’s success and incredible output has generated international recognition and profound community connections. This deep dive into Seattle’s legendary music scene generates ever expanding waves of opportunity through education and artist-support initiatives, years of monthly publications, and the legacy of nearly 3,000 concert programs, including 30 years of Seattle’s major annual jazz festival. John Gilbreath also broadcasts weekly on KBCS and KEXP radio, curates a jazz collection for the Anacortes Library system, programs other festivals and events in the region, and is a perpetual student of stone sculpture.
Karen Caropepe came to Seattle for work in the tech industry but stayed to work for the jazz community. Since 2005, Caropepe has been the mechanics behind the scenes; administering grants, keeping the books, raising funds, handling memberships, selling tickets, planning events, supporting productions, coordinating volunteers, creating and organizing publications, and getting the word out through marketing and publicity, coordinating volunteers, mentoring interns and training and supporting staff. If something needs to be done, she does it. Wearing many hats and learning by doing, is crucial for a lean arts organization. Caropepe relishes her opportunity to directly help artists and bring attention to their work. Caropepe’s dedication to arts education led her to join the founding board of Jazz Night School in 2012. She served as an officer, including two years as president of Seattle’s all-ages, all skill level school with students from 10 to 74. Caropepe graduated with a BA from Texas A&M University.
Since 2010, Tara has been an active participant in the Seattle arts community. After working in a number of organizations around town, including the Seattle Art Museum and Town Hall Seattle, Tara joined the Earshot Jazz team in April 2018 as the Programs Assistant. She’s excited to contribute her enthusiasm to all aspects of Earshot, including marketing, communication, fundraising, and event production. She received her B.A. with honors in Art History from the University of Washington with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Her passion for the arts is stoked by work that sparks social action, and she is particularly interested in the intersection between music, visual arts, and social justice. As an advocate and an ally, Tara is committed to promoting racial equity and creating platforms to amplify historically underrepresented voices. Outside of Earshot, Tara can most often be found rambling around on her bike.
Lucienne Aggarwal is excited to join Earshot in supporting a vibrant jazz community. She helps manage the office along with marketing, website and social media organization, fundraising as well as writing for the magazine. Lucienne Aggarwal, passionate about supporting the local arts community, volunteers for various Seattle arts organizations. She researches and writes articles for the theater review website, Drama in the Hood and for two literary organizations: Hugo House and Seattle Arts & Lectures. Her poetry has been published in Spindrift arts magazine. She recently graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing.
Our Board Members
Danielle Leigh was born in Seattle and raised nearby on the Kitsap Peninsula. She attended Cornish College where she studied music composition with Janice Giteck and James Knapp. During her time at Cornish College, Danielle developed a deep admiration for the musician community in Seattle. She came to the Earshot Jazz Board through her affiliation with Artsfund, where she excelled at leadership training and advocacy. Danielle works as Director of Talent Acquisition at Prolitec Inc. She lives on Capitol Hill, and enjoys composing music and surfing in her spare time.
John W. Comerford is a producer of award-winning content. He is President of Paradigm Studio and has served on both the boards of the Northwest Film Forum and the Seattle International Film Festival. John teaches producing as an adjunct professor at Seattle University in addition to year round board service with musical non-profit presenters Earshot Jazz and Los Angeles’ The Jazz Bakery. The broadcast community is also a home to his advisory council duties at NPR affiliate KNKX.
A Business & Operations Manager at Cushman & Wakefield on the Amazon Account, Jonathan also serves on the Wellspring Family Services Board of Directors as their Treasurer. With over 20 years of community service, Jonathan volunteered with Earshot for several years before joining the board; often working shows with his now-teenage daughter. A native of Chicago, Jonathan finished his education at UW. When not catching live jazz, Jonathan putters at his beach house on Whidbey Island, gets lost in the mountains, sometimes plays guitar, and often avoids chores by reading and writing.
Susan Coliton is a partner with Luma Consulting, where she offers strategic counsel to philanthropists, foundations, and non-profits to help them deepen their impact in the communities they serve. She spent 15 years as the head of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s philanthropic programs, where she oversaw regional, national and international grant-making programs through the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Prior to joining the Allen Foundation, Coliton directed the west coast office of the New York-based Nonprofit Finance Fund, designed corporate giving programs in the arts for Gap, Inc., and worked as a visual arts specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. Coliton is a gubernatorial appointment on the Washington State Arts Commission, where she serves as Chair, and serves as a trustee of the Washington Research Foundation and Henry Art Gallery. Raised in Baltimore, Sue has made Seattle her home since 1999. In addition to her love of all forms of jazz and photography, she is an equestrian and a dog lover.
Philly-born Sheila Hughes has been on the Seattle’s arts and non-profit scene for more than 25 years, most of them as Principal, Producer and COO for One Reel, the creative team that birthed and produced projects like Bumbershoot, WOMAD, Summer Nights, Lake Union Family Fourth, and Teatro ZinZanni Seattle & San Francisco, as well as dozens of Northwest and touring concerts, theater, circus arts, youth programs and spectacles. She’s since served as ED of Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, Gage Academy of Art and Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Equally passionate about music/art and cooking/gardening, she was proud to hear her daughter describe her as a blend of Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart.
Christopher Icasiano is a Filipino-American percussionist and composer. He grew up in Redmond, Washington and has been playing drums since he was eight years old. While studying jazz at the University of Washington, Christopher developed an interest in free-improvisation, experimental, and avant-garde music, which has informed his musical approach ever since. As a curator, he creates mind-expanding experiences featuring unconventional music in club environments. He co-founded the Racer Sessions, a weekly performance series, and the arts organization Table & Chairs. His chicken adobo is delicious, he has run three marathons, and his current karaoke song is Luther Vandross’ “So Amazing.”
Ruby Love is a transformational business leader who was honored to be asked by a friend to support Earshot Jazz. She is an entrepreneur and strategist known for advocating for socially responsible business and community organizations. Her career has afforded relationships that have brought much needed philanthropic support to the arts, education, STEM, social services, and advancing philanthropy. She enjoys advising emerging entrepreneurs to unlock the keys to building a better world with racial equity and social justice always front and center. Her love of artists in live performance, jazz, a great book, golf and her active family fill her days.
Diane Wah is a native of the Pacific Northwest and developed a love of jazz while at the University of Idaho, where she studied music and sang in the jazz choir. She first joined the Earshot Jazz board in the 1990’s, when she was the development director for a local nonprofit, left the board and work to raise her son, then rejoined the board four years ago. Diane Wah was the development director at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in the International District. What draws her to Earshot? Love of the music, passion for its mission, and awe in what it contributes to our cultural landscape locally and internationally.
Karen Caropepe, the amazing Lola Pedrini, and John Gilbreath at the 2014 Golden Ear Awards. Photo by Daniel Sheehan.
Emeritus Board Members
Kenneth W. Masters