Letter from the Director

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Letter from the Director

Jazz Appreciation Month, Seattle style

Here at Earshot Jazz, we’ve been giving nods to the official International Jazz Appreciation Month every April for some years: looking with one eye for new activities to mark the celebration, and with the other eye for a sign that anything has made much of a difference. If the initiatives have raised the profile of our favorite art form with the general public here, the effect has been subtle.

Still, with this April edition, our publication marks major events in our own community, both happy and sad, that resonate deeply with our appreciation of the heart and heartbeat of jazz. And our jazz community is absolutely tied to international jazz appreciation.

As you know, we sadly mark the passing of jazz great, Ernestine Anderson, a longtime Seattle cultural treasure, and a pillar in the pantheon of our jazz legacy. Ernestine embodied the depth, excellence, and soul that define great jazz anywhere in the world. Through work that was entirely human and completely engaging, Ernestine was among the first artists to bring national attention to Seattle as a serious jazz town. We’ll miss her, and we’ll see you at the memorial celebration at the Paramount Theater on April 9.

This month we are happy to welcome the brilliant new crop of winners of Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Awards from our recent awards celebration. Thanks to The Royal Room for some classy hospitality, and thanks to everyone who helped make the event one of the warmest community celebrations we’ve held in a long time. Man, that felt good!

And, speaking of awards, we offer hearty congratulations to Laurie de Koch, executive director of the highly functioning non-profit, Seattle JazzED. Laurie is Seattle’s newest winner of the Jazz Journalist of America’s “Jazz Hero” award. It is well deserved.

Things feel good out there this April. Sure, there could always be more gigs, more audience, more money, more recognition, and more time; but one glance around Seattle’s vibrant and multi-faceted jazz scene shows a lot to appreciate. We’ll see you out at the festivals and concerts this month, in celebration of Seattle’s place in “America’s greatest contribution to world culture” – JAZZ!

– John Gilbreath, Executive Director