Given the incredible growth in jazz over the last 10 years—both in global reach and sheer excellence—I’m optimistic about what we might see and hear from the art form in the coming decade. In fact, given that Seattle itself was the fastest growing city in America over the past 10 years, with 114,000 new citizens bumping our population up by 18.7%, I am equally optimistic about the potential upside for our city’s arts and cultural sensibilities.
Earshot Jazz is proud to hold a valuable place within Seattle’s remarkable cultural community. There is a civic value system around jazz here in Seattle that is unique in America. Building on that, we can’t wait to see how this next set of Roaring 20’s will evolve. We’ve certainly seen a lot of new faces at our programs in recent years, and we’re glad to welcome a younger and more inclusive audience that is clearly interested in engaging with a broad spectrum of cultural experiences. And you know that can’t be bad.
I, myself, first came around the Earshot Jazz organization as a new Seattleite in 1990. The first event I attended was the very first Golden Ear Awards party, upstairs at the old Lofurno’s on 15th Ave W. The music was sweet, the vibe was warm and welcoming, and I remember being a little knocked out that there was an organization that would honor the jazz artists who were living and working in the city. Having attended every Golden Ear Awards event since then, I can admit to still being humbled by the artistry and dedication that surrounds us, and even more convinced of the importance of formally recognizing it.
We’re excited about our circumstances in these coming years. We’re proud of the recent Downbeat magazine headline that says, “Earshot Serves as Platform for Thriving Seattle Scene,” and we resolve to redouble our work in support of the incredible ecosystem for jazz in this beautiful, fast-growing megabopolis. Please join us! –John Gilbreath, Executive Director