John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster

John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay

As we kick off this new year, we’re excited to renew our commitment to the creative spark of Seattle’s jazz community. We’re so grateful to be a part of the living legacy of jazz in this city. 

Jazz thrives in a continuum, stoking the fires of the past masters with a flame that grows brighter and wider each year. Some of our favorite programs, the annual Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Awards, carries that torch forward, honoring the elders and shining new light on the emerging artists of this remarkable jazz scene. The Golden Ear Awards are a tangible example of our work here, documenting, presenting, and encouraging artistic discovery and community involvement. With this issue, you have a chance to make your voice heard by nominating your favorites for the upcoming awards. You’ll find the ballot in the following pages.

With this issue, we’re also proud to celebrate another Seattle institution dedicated to documenting and encouraging the jazz continuum. Origin Records has grown from humble beginnings on Ballard Avenue into an internationally known record label, respected for its clear aesthetic and the integrity of its impressive catalogue. We congratulate John Bishop, Matt Jorgensen, Evan Woodle, and the Origin crew, appreciating that over 25 years of success comes from thousands of days of hard work, with every minute poured into the love of the music and the artists who make it.

And speaking of the continuum, we’re also happy to focus this issue on programs for young people to get involved with the music. We’re eager to support all-ages jazz education and performance opportunities as a path to assuring a strong future for jazz in Seattle, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to advocate for arts education and participation in our community. 

Today’s jazz community stands on the shoulders of those whose good work and love of the culture set the standard. The first Golden Ear Awards program, initiated by Gary Bannister, one of Earshot’s founders, was held on January 26, 1991. That first ceremony built the foundation for the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame by inducting jazz legends Floyd Standifer, Ernestine Anderson, Chuck Metcalf, and Al Hood. The growing list of honorees is a testament to one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in America. We’re proud to be a part of it and invite you to join us!

Get involved! Support your local jazz artists! 




Posted on

December 29, 2023