John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay
With the annual Earshot Jazz Festival in progress around the city, the incredible breadth of the art form becomes more evident each day, as does its importance as a living cultural treasure here in Seattle. For 35 years, the Earshot organization has celebrated that ongoing progression by bringing important jazz masters and emerging artists from around the world to showcase on Seattle stages alongside our own incredible resident artists. We are dedicated to this music and this community, and virtually all of the work we do here is in service to that dedication.
Someone once said that the job of the artist is to show the world exactly who they are. This year’s festival offered a broad range of artistic expression, with each concert as distinct as the individual spirit of the artists involved. In concert halls throughout the festival, the essence of giving and receiving, as an exchange between artists and audience, has been deeply rewarding.
This spirit of mutual exchange applies to our work in this community as well. As Seattle’s long-serving, non-profit jazz support organization, Earshot Jazz provides an infrastructure to promote and enrich the art of jazz in our civic culture. Our work in programming, commissioning artists, and engaging the larger community through publications and public programs has nourished the Seattle area for years. The Earshot organization can sustain this diversity of artistic exchange because the community gives back to support the organization. Like a single, satisfying concert, it’s a win-win situation.
With this recent festival, the Earshot team has done some new and innovative things to grow our audiences, diversify the venues, expand how we get the word out, and, yes, feature more Black artists, women artists, and artists from right here close to home. The results have meant bigger numbers attending concerts and younger people discovering the power of the music.
We come to you a couple of times each year to directly ask for your support. Think of us as you do your local public radio station—we are listener-supported. And we count on you to help us do our work better each year. Please make a donation today through the QR code in this issue or by finding us online at earshot.org/donate. Your gifts make a huge difference!
—JOHN GILBREATH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR