Letter from the Director

John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay.


Our joint slog into and through, and now, slowly and hopefully out of the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated our interconnectivity at every turn. Whether or not we’ve agreed on every policy, or have had equal access to care, the human connection in the transmission of this disease and its immunity is a lesson that we can all stand to take seriously. So, if you haven’t already PLEASE GET VACCINATED.

In this past year, the Seattle jazz community stepped up, as always. We can all be proud of the creative resilience and mutual support that shone through this past year. As we roll through the remainder of this summer with a wary eye on the uncertainties of the fall, we know that we can, and will, only go forward.

The Earshot Jazz organization is grateful to serve this remarkable and multi-faceted jazz community. We’re looking to the future with optimism by planning a robust concert series for the fall, including our annual Earshot Jazz Festival. Having just launched the complete digital archives of 400-plus months of Earshot magazines, all centering the artists of Seattle’s storied jazz history, will serve as an ever-present reminder of our commitment to honoring the past with respect and fascination, as well as, carrying the lessons we’ve learned into the present and our future. We hope that you’ve spent some time going through the archives now that they’re fully accessible online through Earshot Jazz and the Seattle Public Library. For me, those archives are a doorway to the wider legacy of jazz here in Seattle and the awareness of that longer story inspires my responsibility to it. It’s our culture. It’s important. It’s important and we all have a part to play. To access the archives, visit cdm16118.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/.

The 33rd annual Earshot Jazz Festival is just round a couple of corners and we’re cooking up another feast of unique international and locally-sourced flavors. Stretching from mid-October to early November, this year’s festival will be available both as live, in-person concerts and as video presentations streamed directly to your home. As always, we celebrate jazz as a cultural treasure of Black America and Seattle’s prominent place within the world of this dynamic and expressive genre.

Stay tuned for the September issue for an overview of this year’s festival, and a chance to learn more about our featured resident artist, the incredible multi-instrumentalist Marina Albero.

The lineup for the opening weekend includes a special concert by new NEA Jazz Master Terri Lyne Carrington and her acclaimed seven-piece ensemble Social Science, which includes returning heroes Aaron Parks and Kassa Overall.  

We’re excited to announce an October 21 concert by Chucho Valdés Duets, featuring the great pianist in performance with the sublime Dianne Reeves and tenor saxophone titan Joe Lovano. The full festival schedule and ticket information will be available online later this month. 

Please join us in support of a vibrant jazz community for one of the world’s most vibrant cities!!

See you soon.



Posted on

August 2, 2021