Roosevelt High School Jazz Band with guest director, Jovino Santos Neto at the 2019 Earshot Jazz Festival. Photo by Daniel Sheehan.
New Earshot Jazz Editor
Earshot Jazz Magazine is excited to announce their new editor, Rayna Mathis. Rayna (she/her) is a graduate of The University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in History. Her work at the Seattle Art Museum as a museum educator seeks to amplify the work and voices of teen artists and activists. In her spare time, Rayna can be found tending to her Little Library in Beacon Hill, outside of The Station Coffee Shop.
Stepping down from her post as editor, Lucienne Aggarwal continues in her role as Marketing and Development Associate for Earshot Jazz.
John Dimitriou, 2021 Seattle Jazz Hero
John Dimitriou, the owner and visionary behind Seattle’s famous concert and restaurant venue Jazz Alley, is the recipient of the 2021 Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Heroes Award. Open for just over 40 years, Jazz Alley features notable jazz artists from across the nation and the globe. Originally located in the University District, in the mid-80’s the club moved to its current location at 6th and Lenora. As well as showcasing word-class jazz, Dimitriou is known for his community service efforts. With the nonprofit Pacific Jazz Institute, Dimitriou offered “Meet the Masters” weekend workshops, especially aimed at low-income students. More recently, when the pandemic hit and Dimitriou was forced to close Jazz Alley, he re-tooled his expansive restaurant kitchen, and in conjunction with Northwest Food Alliance, the Seattle Council of Churches, and other public service organizations, utilized the space to produce and distribute nearly 100,000 free meals to those in need.
Dimitriou is eager to restart concerts once COVID-19 restrictions have been sufficiently eased. With safety in mind, Dimitriou recently remodeled the venue with a new ventilation system, privacy shields on the stage, more spaced out seating, hands-free faucets and soap dispensers in the bathrooms, among many other measures. Upcoming concerts from June onwards include Lisa Fischer with Taylor Eigsti, Najee, Kenny G, and Maceo Parker, among others. To find out more about John Dimitriou and Jazz Alley visit jazzalley.com.
Roosevelt High School Jazz Selected for Essentially Ellington
Roosevelt High School, along with their band director, Scott Brown, was the only Seattle area school to be selected for the 26th annual Essentially Ellington Festival. In previous years, several area schools have been selected. While Garfield High School Jazz did not enter themselves for selection this year, it’s easy to speculate that the pandemic-induced shutdown of schools has made it difficult for bands to practice together. This year’s Essentially Ellington Festival will be broadcast virtually, from June 4–5. For a full list of finalists, visit academy.jazz.org/ee.
Vivian Hua and Northwest Film Forum Receive Mayor’s Award
Mayor Jenny Durkan awarded Vivian Hua and Northwest Film Forum (NWFF) the 2021 Mayor’s Film Award for Outstanding Achievement in Film. Hua, a writer, filmmaker, organizer and executive director of NWFF since October 2018, is noted for her passionate efforts to preserve cultural space, center work in equity and inclusion, and disrupt oppressive structures. NWFF, a nonprofit film and arts center, presents hundreds of films, community events, and multidisciplinary performances each year. Additionally, during the past year in response to the pandemic, NWFF developed critical online programs and webinars to help support filmmakers. For details follow the link to seattle.gov/filmandmusic/film/mayors-film-award.
Save the Date for the 2021 Vancouver International Jazz Festival
The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society in Vancouver, B.C., will be holding their annual festival from June 25–July 4. Last year, Coastal Jazz canceled their festival due to the onset of the pandemic. In a bid to abide by local public health restrictions, the 2021 festival will have a strong streaming focus and feature mainly artists from B.C. For more information visit coastaljazz.ca.
ArtsFund New COVID-19 Relief Grants
ArtsFund, contracted by the State of Washington Department of Commerce, will administer a one-time Nonprofit Community Recovery grant program, which will offer over $10 million to support Washington nonprofits. This program will target nonprofits with critical operation needs to help prevent their closure and provide support for their reopening. As well as offering relief to arts, cultural, science, and heritage nonprofits, organizations such as neighborhood associations and youth sports and recreation organizations will be eligible to apply. The application portal is due to open on May 10, and will be open for two weeks, with grant decisions announced in June. For details visit artsfund.org.
4Culture Capacity Building Grants
The 4Culture Building For Equity: Capacity Building Grants help to invest in an organization’s development by allowing them to secure their long-term facility needs. Grants of up to $25,000 are intended to help organizations lease, acquire, repair, remodel, or construct suitable space for their programing. This fund prioritizes historically underserved communities in King County. To be eligible, organizations must have 501(c)(3) status or be fiscally sponsored by such an organization. The application for this grant is due May 28; for details, visit 4culture.org.
Washington Blues Society Announces Awardees
The Washington Blues Society held their 30th Annual Best of The Blues Awards on April 18 and have now announced the awardees. The Male Vocalist Award was granted to Joel Astley, the Female Vocalist Award went to Lady A, the Electric Blues Guitar went to Rafael Tranquilino, the Blues Piano/Keyboard Award went to Jimmy Holden, and the Best Virtual New Blues Act was awarded to High Note Group. For a full list of recipients visit their website at wablues.org.
Solarium Creative Works—Artist Residencies
Owner of Crybaby Studios, Leigh Stone founded Solariaum Creative Works, a nonprofit that offers Crybaby Studios Residencies—a quarterly residency that provides an artist or group with a rehearsal studio and resources. With a focus on underrepresented groups, the residency provides creatives studio space, without the burden of paying rent. Potentially, this offers artists the opportunity to perform independent work or to record an album. The residency also offers to help artists with grant applications. Crybaby Studios, located in Seattle, was established in 1999. To find out more about the residencies, visit solariumcreative.works.
Shuttered Venue Operator Grant Delayed
Signed into law in December 2020, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) was due to open for application on April 8, but was delayed until April 24. Administered by the Small Business Association, the delay was attributed to technical glitches. The SVOG program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, with grants offered on a first come, first served basis. For details visit sba.gov.
Earshot Jazz Writers
Earshot Jazz invites you to join our team of dedicated writers who contribute each month to documenting the rich Seattle jazz scene. With each issue, we celebrate the talent of our resident artists and the vibrancy of our city’s arts and culture—but we need your help.
Earshot Jazz seeks writers of all levels and backgrounds to help us continue to tell our stories. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.