Letter From The Director

John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay.

Kindness and Gratitude

What a decade! As we come to the final month of this incredible year, we want to thank you all for the en­couragement, kindness and support that you’ve shown us (and each other) through these unparalleled, and mostly difficult times.

December is often a metaphor for one thing ending, so that something else can begin. We wish! Instead, this moment often feels as though we’re locked in some kind of limbo, cautiously peering around the corner of each new day; at worst it’s a down­ward spiral, and at best it’s, well, not worse. Survival is the new accom­plishment.

Like you, the Earshot Jazz orga­nization has faced the challenges, made necessary adjustments, taken a hard look at our core beliefs, and applied our remaining resources to the work in front of us. We’ve chosen to focus on what we can do for this community. We’ve redoubled our commitment to this monthly magazine, sought new ways to sup­port artists, committed to a series of livestream concerts, and served up a serious jazz festival at its established time. The support you’ve shown for these programs has been essential. Thank you.

With this December issue of Earshot Jazz, we savor the gracious legacy of jazz treasure, Overton Berry, and we remember the best “jazz mom” ever, Helen Marriott; we also unveil a new Earshot program that gives support to individual artists; and we shine a light on some of the indi­viduals working behind the scenes, out of the glow of the stage lights. The Earshot Jazz magazine will enter its 37th year next month. We love creating it, and we’re grateful that this community appreciates and supports it. Please join us!

As always, we are so grateful to the musi­cal artists, students, and educators who work so hard to en­sure a strong future for jazz here in Seattle. This year brought us new opportuni­ties to maintain that important bridge between the brilliant artists of the day, and the public who support performances and recordings. A DownBeat magazine festival review ran last year under the head­line, “Earshot Serves as Platform for Thriving Seattle Scene.” That’s the essence of our work, and we need your financial support to continue our growth.

Even in the best of times, concert ticket sales offset only half of our production expenses, and none of the administrative costs. We need your financial support to build on our legacy of service to this community, and to expand our effec­tiveness in the new environment of video production and streaming. We would love to speak with you about new ideas.

This is such a rich time for jazz; it’s a dark paradox that performance opportunities have all but stopped. You can help support the environment for the remarkable artists who are set to make the future of jazz even richer. Please make a donation to Earshot Jazz today.

And, given that evolving challenges are the one thing we can count on these days, I’m making an early New Year’s resolution to focus on Kindness and Gratitude going forward. In today’s environment, that’s going to take some work. I invite you to join me.

Stay safe, healthy, and motivated

–John Gilbreath, Executive Director


Posted on

December 2, 2020