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.
Marketing & Development Associate
Lucienne Aggarwal is excited to support a vibrant jazz community in her role with Earshot Jazz. She joined Earshot Jazz in April 2018 and helps manage the office along with marketing, database management, website and social media organization, fundraising, artist contracts, the magazine digitization project, box office at concerts, as well as 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. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in English and Creative Writing.
Our Board Members
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.
Augusto (Gus) Cardoso is a native of Massachusetts with family ties to Portugal. Professionally, he is a senior quality assurance engineer with Base2 Solutions currently working on a project at Boeing Commercial Aviation. His music appreciation started with volunteering at the college radio station where he got exposure to the various styles of jazz and its influences. He is a long-time Earshot Jazz Gold Card member and attendee of many spectacular concerts. In addition, he enjoys watching soccer live and on television as well as being a season ticket holder with the Seattle Sounders FC and a life-long member of the Sporting Club of Portugal.
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.
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.
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