Maurice James photo by Sean Henderson.
Continuing our series, 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. This month, please meet Maurice James.
What is your name, board position, and preferred pronouns?
My name is Maurice James (him/he) and I’m one of the board directors.
How long have you served on the Earshot Jazz board and please mention any other EJ board positions you’ve held if any?
I joined the Board of Directors as a general member in 2018.
What led you to join the Earshot Jazz board?
Three reasons: 1) I’m a huge fan of the arts here in the greater Seattle area—especially the local talent, 2) Jazz is my “go to” genre when I need to unwind and relax—the soothing sounds and melodic tones put me in just the right mood and 3) Someone asked!—fellow Board Member Ruby Love tapped me on the shoulder and said, “I’ve got some more work for you to do,” and I gladly said, “Yes!”
Tell us something you’re proud of that Earshot has achieved.
Each year, I remain astonished at the caliber of the month-long jazz festival we put on—the talent, to logistical genius that plays out given the numerous venues that play host to the festival and how the city ‘shows up’ and supports the festival; I am especially proud to see the local talent that we highlight and feature throughout the month in addition to the national artists we bring to town; it really is a spectacular production!
Tell us a little about your background-professional qualifications, job, interests, talents.
Professionally I lead brand marketing teams at T-Mobile where I oversee a portion of our social impact initiatives, drive marketing and messaging efforts asserting our leadership in the 5G wireless race, and manage general brand strategy across our different lines of business. Cultural experiences are very important to me: I travel internationally (pre-COVID) at least 3 times each year all with the intent of experiencing and learning something new.
2020/2021 have been challenging. Is there any other organization or inspirational person you’d like to highlight that stood out to you?
The resilience and tenacity of local nonprofits have astounded me. There are numerous organizations locally—Earshot Jazz—who didn’t just throw up their hands in defeat but rather pivoted in innovative ways to sustain their mission and continued to ‘show up’ for the communities they committed to serve. That’s the sign of true leadership—and I’m especially proud to serve organizations who stay committed to their work no matter the circumstances!