Letter From the Director

John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

John Gilbreath by Bill Uznay.

Tomorrow Never Knows

I wish the future would settle down. We hope that you’re healthy and safely navigating these trying times. 

With the ongoing global pandemic, natural and unnatural disasters, wars, horrific human rights abuses, and the prophetic effects of climate change, our world seems to be in some seriously perilous times right now, and the light at the end of the tunnel is diffuse with smoke. As Ray Charles once sang, “The world is in an uproar / Danger zone is everywhere.” 

We’ve resigned ourselves to not being able to see around the next corner, but the news is rarely good. The wound of what’s happening in the world is going to take a long time to heal. Meanwhile, we can hope for the best, count our blessings and recognize our privilege, and do just a little bit more to help the human condition. 

In that light, we’re unveiling the Earshot Jazz Festival for 2021. Luckily, the environment around jazz has always been about reacting creatively to events popping up all around us. We’ve adjusted the festival in response to the changing times and we can’t wait to dig in!

We are enormously proud to be able to present the star-studded, soul-satisfying Duets with Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés, and Joe Lovano. Masters all, these artists will be here for an October 21 concert in the intimacy of Town Hall’s Great Hall.

Our exciting creative collaboration with this year’s Featured Resident Artist, Marina Albero, has grown steadily into a series of fascinating events throughout the festival schedule. You can read more about Marina and the planned concerts in these pages. 

We are also proud to partner with LANGSTON in presenting concerts from several of the brilliant young artists now emerging on the national jazz scene, with bands fronted by trumpeter Theo Croker, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, trumpeter Giveton Gelin, and the astounding vocalist Samara Joy, who performs in duo with the pianist Sullivan Fortner. Also at LANGSTON, the stunning vocalist Dee Daniels will perform a tribute to John Lewis. Following that, a continuum of jazz in Seattle’s Central District will flow through vocalist Darelle Holden, the granddaughter of Seattle jazz legend Oscar Holden.

It wouldn’t be an Earshot Jazz Festival without celebrating Seattle’s place in the world of jazz with a full roster of local artists. We’ll also welcome back Seattle artists like Dawn Clement, Jay Clayton, and the Tiptons, each with their own ensembles. And, of course, many more.  

We’ll present all of these events in safe environments for live, limited, in-person audiences. We’ll have plenty of shows that will also be available to stream directly to your homes! Tickets go on sale in early September at earshot.org.

Please join us!!



Posted on

August 27, 2021