Letter from the Director


Wheels Within a Wheel

The cycles of hours, days, and weeks inside of months, and the months inside of years, is a little like dealing with time inside of music—cycles within cycles. For the Earshot Jazz organization, this monthly newsletter is the smaller wheel, turning steadily for 34 years, inside of the larger annual program cycles of this organization, while documenting the growth of the greater community that we serve.

One essential part of our mid-summer cycle is the annual concert series, Jazz: The Second Century. From solicitations for submissions that start in April, to the peer-panel selection process in mid-June, to the ultimate performances at the Chapel Performance Space on consecutive Thursdays through July, this series puts our mission into motion with fascinating listens to the current thinking of Seattle jazz artists. This program is a continuation of Earshot’s oldest concert program, started by Gary Bannister in 1986 as New Jazz/New City, with the intention to present original work by Seattle artists, in a respectful concert setting. We are grateful to the many hundreds of artists who have shared their vision over the years, and to well over a hundred community members who have participated in the blind jury selection process. We encourage your participation as well. The Chapel Space is a sublime environment on a summer evening, and the music is always nourishing. Check this issue for details. We’ll see you soon.

And, speaking of cycles, we’re happy to welcome Kassa Overall back to Seattle: on the cover of this issue, and hitting the Triple Door main stage on July 31! We first met Kassa when he was in middle school, at our Hands On Jazz class as part of Seattle Center Academy. His talent and determination were evident then. It is so gratifying to see an artist like Kassa on a steady ascent from the Seattle scene.
When summer finally hits Seattle, it’s almost easy to imagine it lasting forever. I love this time of year but, though my body is gratefully in the summer, my mind is largely in the coming fall, working with the community to organize our coming festival. This year will be the 30th time around the clouds for the Earshot Jazz Festival. Over the years, Earshot has built an incredible legacy of one-of-a-kind events, bringing many of the most important artists of our time into creative collaboration with Seattle-area audiences, students, and artists. And we have an amazing festival coming. Stay tuned.

We appreciate all of the community partners who work so hard to make Seattle what is essentially, one of the most fascinating and creative jazz communities in the world. We are proud to be part of the mix, and we invite you to join us. Check our active jazz calendar, get involved as a volunteer, sign up as a member, get out to see some live jazz tonight.

–John Gilbreath, Executive Director


Posted on

June 29, 2018