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Letter From The Director

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John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

Every Day, A New Normal

If there is any positive outcome for today’s unexpected and game-changing environment, it may be the demonstration that we are all connected, even, or especially, outside of the economic construct and the internet; and that each individual is equally important, and equally vulnerable. We may also need the reminder that we are not really in charge of this giant machine, that, for the most part, has kept the world on its wobbly path year after year. This thing seems to be going off the rails in unimaginable ways. It is difficult to be optimistic.

In this issue you’ll find an artist-centric focus on the well-being of individual musicians, who have seen an already less-than-robust gig environment all but evaporate. With the prognosis for the Covid-19 epidemic seeming more bleak and long lasting with each new announcement, the outlook for artists who rely on a gig economy and healthy jazz-education programs is not good. But artists can bring a lot of creativity to bear on the problem.

We, at Earshot Jazz, have resolved to keep supporting initiatives to support and sustain Seattle artists. On the plus side, we’re beginning a new series of Saturday evening jazz concerts this month, in collaboration with Town Hall Seattle. Offering a high-quality audio and video stream originating from the stage in The Forum, downstairs at Town Hall, the series features Seattle artists in an equally high-quality concert setting, with a great piano and no physical audience. All measures will be taken to assure that the participating artists and production personnel are healthy, and remain so, with a stage big enough to guarantee 6’ in distancing between participants. You’ll find a tentative schedule in this issue, with all events occurring within the guidelines that public health restrictions currently allow.

You can also look to the April 4 concert with Marina Albero as a forum to announce the winners of this year’s Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Awards, which had to be cancelled last month. We look forward to getting that eagerly anticipated news out into the world, though the individual winners will be unable to be on site to deliver their acceptance speeches. We hope you’ll join us online to celebrate the accomplishment within our widely respected jazz community. And, bearing this newly revealed interconnectivity in mind, we once again have the opportunity to make decisions based on our horizontal humanity. As one recent piece by Agnes Callard concluded: At times like this, when a window opens, and all of humanity sees the End rushing at us from the future, it behooves the humanists (the artists) to be the ones who refuse to shut our eyes. We’re going to have to take better care of each other.

Be well, be careful, and keep us posted.

John Gilbreath, Executive Director

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April 3, 2020

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