Stephanie Porter photo courtesy of the artist.
New Public Art Program Manager
Amy Nguyen joins the Seattle Office of Arts, as their new Public Art Program Manager. Nguyen will be managing the city’s investments in artmaking in the public realm. The Public Art Program integrates artworks into a variety of public settings; the Civic Art Collection currently includes more than 400 permanently sited and integrated works and nearly 3,000 portable works in parks, libraries, community centers, on roadways, bridges, and other public venues. Prior to joining ARTS, Nguyen spent over 10 years as a public servant and nonprofit leader with roles at the Seattle Department of Transportation, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, and as a Legislative Aide for a Seattle City Council member. Nguyen also has experience in policy analysis, nonprofit management, and community organizing in New York City and New Orleans. Visit artbeat.seattle.gov for more details.
International Jazz Day 2021
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the International Jazz Day (IJD). In November 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially designated April 30 as International Jazz Day to highlight jazz and emphasize its ability to unite people worldwide. IJD is led by UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay and jazz legend Herbie Hancock. The Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz organizes and promotes the annual celebration.
Inclusion in IJD is open to individuals and organizations who organize any sized jazz event, from a jam session, to a social media tribute, to a multi-day festival. To promote and register an event, visit jazzday.com/register. To view the 2021 IJD event map visit jazzday.com.
Seattle Jazz Artist Relief Fund Update
Earshot Jazz is sincerely grateful to the Raynier Institute and Foundation for their generosity in making this emergency support program possible. With their support, fifty gifts of $1,000 each were distributed to resident artists most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to the handful of patrons who designated funds to this program—with your support, we were able to distribute two additional awards.
Recipient demographics included 73% BIPOC, 13% LGBTQ+, 20% women artists, and 20% artists with disabilities. We’re honored to have been chosen to administer this program and to help provide some financial relief to artists experiencing financial hardship.
Artist Relief Offers New Grant Funds
Artist Relief, a coalition of national arts grantmakers have reopened their artist relief grant application from March 8 to June 23. Thanks to generous gifts from Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, The Willem de Kooning Foundation, and others, Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19. To be eligible, you must be a practicing artist, 18 years or older, who has lived and worked in the U.S. for the past two years. More details and application can be found at artistrelief.org.
Live Concerts Stream Changes Name to LoudSwell
Live Concerts Stream, a streaming platform that began in March 2020 as a way to provide musicians a means of reaching audiences after the pandemic-induced shut down of venues, recently changed its name to LoudSwell, citing the increase in demand for use of their platform and a desire to create an organization with more business potential. It plans to offer more features in the coming weeks. Visit loudswell.com for details.
Racer Sessions Online
Racer Sessions, the local organization that showcases experimental music, continues their monthly first Sunday sessions online. Helmed by Seattle arts organization, Table and Chairs, the Racer Sessions is dedicated to composition and improvisation. Every first Sunday, concerts are aired via Zoom from 5-6pm PDT and feature a new artist who will present a short set, followed by a free-improv-based jam session open to all. The current sessions are a collaborative effort between Racer Sessions and FreeSessions (Missoula). Each month’s opening performer also chooses a social justice organization/cause to support. Details about upcoming artists can be found at racersessions.com.
Save the Date for the Lake Chelan Wine and Jazz Festival
The 3rd annual Lake Chelan Wine and Jazz Festival will run from May 20–23. Showcasing both internationally renowned jazz artists and the wineries of Lake Chelan, this four-day festival will be held live. Jazz performances will be held at nine wineries and other venues throughout the area. Festival artists include Dmitri Matheny, Stephanie Porter, the Collin Provence Trio, and the Kobie Watkins Grouptet among others. Net proceeds from the 2021 festival will benefit local charities. For more information, visit chelanwinejazz.com.
SFJAZZ Digital Classes
From April 7–May 26, SFJAZZ will be offering Digital Lab Online courses, with an emphasis on live performance and improvisation. Classes include Intro to Digital Audio Production, Live Looping and Spontaneous Composition, Intro to Logic Pro, among others. Classes are open to older teens and adults, with no experience required and will be held via Zoom. For more information visit sfjazz.org.
Owl ‘n Thistle Jam Sessions Resume
In early March, in-person Tuesday night jam sessions resumed at the downtown Seattle pub, the Owl ‘n Thistle. Hosted by drummer Xavier Lecouturier, sessions have included sets by numerous local artists. Attendees are required to wear masks. Details about upcoming jam sessions can be found at facebook.com/tuesdaynightowljamsession.