John Gilbreath smiling in front of jazz art poster


John Gilbreath photo by Bill Uznay

As we march on into spring, we reflect on this time as one of growth and nurturing. It’s perfect to celebrate vibist Susan Pascal on this month’s cover. Susan has been a steady inspiration for the young artists of this community for many years. Her quiet focus on professional excellence has aligned her with many of the other masters of this abundant scene.

We are happy to welcome Alexa Peters to this issue with her first “Roots” piece, on clarinetist/educator/ performance artist, Beth Fleenor. A Seattle-based journalist whose byline can be seen in national publications, like DownBeat magazine, Peters is the new collaborator with Paul de Barros on their book in progress, updating the landmark Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle.

As we celebrate women in jazz this month, we have to know that we’re already a day late and a dollar short. But we can only move forward. It is so great to witness the rise of the next generation—in these pages, join us as we sit down with two local high school juniors who participated in this year’s Next Generation Women in Jazz Combo, an educational component of the Monterey Jazz Festival.

With this issue, we also remember one of the true originals of this scene, Mack Waldron, who owned and operated Tula’s Jazz Club for many years. Waldron retired from the Navy with a dream to open a jazz club and ran Tula’s on 2nd Ave in Belltown, against considerable odds, and for longer than anyone could have reasonably expected. He was dedicated to Seattle jazz and did more than anyone to keep professional performance opportunities alive for Seattle artists. We also note the recent passing of another dear friend, Lionel Kramer, whose memory we will honor in a much more dedicated tribute in next month’s issue.

Thanks, as well, to all of the individuals who made donations to Earshot Jazz last year. We’re so grateful! We look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, March 12 at The Royal Room in Columbia City for the annual Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of the Fame Awards. The music starts at 6:30 with the Jun Iida quintet, and emcee Alex Dugdale will host the awards at 7:30. Speeches will be made, tears will be shed, and community will be celebrated!

Thank you all!!



Posted on

February 29, 2024