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Meet The Board: Chris Icasiano

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Cristopher Icasiano crouching with pine trees in the background.

Christopher Icasiano photo by Haley Freedlund.

This year, Earshot Jazz would like to introduce you to our board members. They’re a group whose work often goes unnoticed by the broader public, but we value their expertise and their dedication to Earshot Jazz. Each month you’ll meet someone new—in January, please meet Christopher Icasiano.

What is your name, board position, and pronouns?

My name is Christopher Icasiano (he/they) and I am the newly appointed Earshot Jazz board president.

How long have you served on the Earshot Jazz board? What other board positions have you held, if any?

I’ve served on the board for about 6 years? Maybe a little longer? I don’t know…what is time anymore?

What led you to join the Earshot Jazz board?

Back when John Gilbreath approached me about joining the board, I had for several years been leading the arts organization Table & Chairs and the weekly music series Racer Sessions. As an arts organizer and a working musician, joining the Earshot Jazz board was a great opportunity to use my skills to serve the Seattle Jazz community—a community that fostered my own education and growth.

Tell us something you’re proud of that Earshot has achieved.

I’m very proud that, in addition to adapting and evolving to the needs of the Seattle jazz community amidst a global pandemic, Earshot Jazz has also taken very seriously the call to action in the Movement for Black Lives. We have a lot of work to do and have made a commitment to bringing a lens of social justice to each aspect of the organization’s operations.

Tell us a little about yourself: professional background, interests, talents, and anything you’d like to share?

Most importantly, I’m Filipino, which means that I love cooking adobo and lumpia for my friends and family. This also means that I love karaoke and will definitely throw down some Boyz II Men and SWV right out the gate.

In my professional life, I’m committed to anti-racist and anti-sexist organizing within Seattle’s DIY and art communities in order to create more accessible and safer spaces. I am a working musician and teacher with an extensive background in jazz. I perform extensively in the Seattle area and regularly tour nationally and internationally with bands of all types of different genres. I’ve been an organizer in the greater Seattle music community for Racer Sessions, Table & Chairs, Origin Records, Ballard Jazz Festival, and Seattle Improvised Music Festival.

2020 has been a challenging year. What other organization or individual has stood out to you this year?

I’m continually inspired by Social Justice Fund NW, an organization that builds progressive power through donor activism.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My partner and I just had a baby, whose name is Leo and is the light of our lives. In these tumultuous social and political times, I’m thinking deeply about the world that we’re bringing this little person into, and longing for it to be better. In the last several years, I’ve been working to build the community that I want for myself and I’m now realizing that the impact of that work is two-fold, because not only do I get to benefit from it, but I get to rest assured that Leo will come up in a community that holds, nurtures, and sees them for who they are. This is my vision for the Earshot Jazz—a place where the community (including my child) can feel held, nurtured, and seen.

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December 24, 2020

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