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, getting the word out through marketing and publicity, 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. She’s excited to contribute her enthusiasm to all aspects of Earshot, including marketing, communication, desktop publishing, fundraising, event production, and co-editing the Earshot Jazz magazine. 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.
Marketing & Development Associate
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, artist contracts, the magazine digitization project, box office at concerts, as well as co-editing the monthly Earshot Jazz magazine. Lucienne Aggarwal, passionate about supporting the local arts community, has volunteered for various Seattle arts organizations. She researched and wrote 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 Vice President at Prolitec Inc. She lives on Capitol Hill, and enjoys composing music and surfing in her spare time.
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.”
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.
Chris Nutter grew up in California listening to and loving all kinds of music including jazz. Education, travel, and work took him throughout the world exposing him to more cultures and more music. As an architect, Chris practiced harmonizing various influences together into stable structures—that was his “jazz.” Today, Chris is a consultant who resides in Alki and soaks up the beauty and rhythm of Puget Sound as he bicycles around town to work and to play. Although he contributes resources to various other non-profits in the region, he joined the Earshot board in 2018 with a desire to directly apply his professional skills and love of music to this essential organization.
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.
Maurice James is a 2nd time resident of Seattle, drawn to the city’s vibrant and energetic scene, encouraged by its love of the performing arts & culture, and its thriving volunteer community. He is a Marketing Executive with T-Mobile having worked in the telecommunications field both here in the US and abroad in South Africa. In addition to serving on the board of Earshot Jazz, he also serves on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound Board of Directors. When he’s not taking in a local performance or checking out a new-local dining experience, you’ll find him hopping a plane traveling to some international destination ready to take in a new experience.
A native of Henderson, Kentucky, Gail grew up in Gary, Indiana. She completed an orthodontic residency program at Harvard University, after which she taught and practiced orthodontics full-time for the next 15 years, eventually moving to Seattle in 1996. Searching for a creative outlet in Seattle, Gail joined a workshop led by saxophonist Darren Motamedy, which in turn led to lessons and jam sessions; all of which proved fortuitous in birthing her new career as a jazz vocalist. Gail is no stranger to music and performing; her grandfather Arthur Pettis, was a recorded blues singer and guitarist and her grandmother played piano around Chicago, while in her youth, Gail sang in choirs. After selling her orthodontic practice in 2006, Gail hasn’t looked back garnering motion picture song credits, releasing acclaimed albums, and performing in Seattle, and beyond. Gail joined the Earshot Jazz board in late 2018 bringing her love of jazz, her expertise in the field, and her commitment to foster the artform.
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.
Ken Masters is thrilled to return to the Earshot Board after serving on it from 2009 through 2012, including a stint as President, and then as an Emeritus Board Member. Ken’s love of jazz comes from studying and playing it for nearly 50 years. An accomplished guitarist, Ken toured, taught, and gigged professionally for about 10 years before undertaking his current career as an appellate attorney. In that profession, his peers have honored him as the “Super Lawyer” “rated #1” in Washington for 2019. A distinguished Conductor once told Ken that he watches Ken’s televised Washington Supreme Court arguments, assimilates his hand gestures, and uses them to persuade his musicians! Ken still plays as time permits – it’s cheaper than therapy.
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