John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay

Jazz is responsive to its environment. Rooted in tradition, but fluid in creatively adapting to the social, economic, and artistic forces around it, jazz lives in the multiplicity of possibilities. We strive to embrace that dynamic in serving our community as we weather and roll with the changes around us. This new millennium has given us opportunities to test our resilience.

As we move steadily into this fall and the upcoming Earshot Jazz Festival, incredibly our 35th edition, we double down on our commitment to the remarkable community of jazz artists, audiences, and educators with whom we share our love, the music, and the culture.

In response to the changes around us, and to prepare for those to come, the Earshot Jazz staff and board of directors have been engaged in several capacity-clarifying and -building exercises, including a rigorous re-evaluation of our own fundamental beliefs. At last month’s meeting, the board approved the following restatement of our Mission, Vision, and Values. We welcome your input as these have been created to serve the community that you comprise.


Earshot Jazz honors jazz as a vital Black American art form through live performance presentations, artist advocacy, and community engagement.


To ensure Jazz thrives as a great American gift to global culture. 


Artist Advocacy – We believe that Artists are the heart and soul of Jazz. We are committed to providing a safe space for artists and audiences alike, and equitable opportunities that aim to support and propel Artists’ careers.

Collaboration – We believe that cultivating a dynamic jazz community is paramount. We are committed to building inclusive partnerships as a key element of our programs. 

History – We celebrate the Black American roots of Jazz and its ubiquitous influence on global music. We affirm that history through the ongoing creative expression of the art form.

These statements are the result of honest reflection and collaboration through several board retreats and focused sessions. Special thanks to past board president Chris Icasiano for his persistent commitment to this work and to incoming board president, Maurice James, for bringing the final version to vote. Thanks to board members Ruby Smith Love, Jazmyn Scott, Sheila Hughes, Gus Cardoso, Kelley Clingan, Marcos Zuñiga, and former board member Arlene Fairfield for their incredible collective wisdom and experience, active insights, and participation. And finally, as always, thanks to you, our donors, audience members and readers, for your support. 



Posted on

August 28, 2023