Letter From The Director

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Welcome to Earshot Jazz Feast-ival!

The table is set, the flavors are varied and rich, and the music is hot. From the tantalizing appetizer of Brian Blade and Life Cycles, to the satisfyingly sinful desert of Chick Corea with the entire Seattle Symphony Orchestra, this is a feast for every appetite. And you don’t have to be a sophisticated jazz gourmet to enjoy this banquet; you can pull up a chair for the entire affair, or come and go as your tastes move you, but we guarantee that you’ll discover new delicacies that will expand your palate and leave you hungry for more.

Earshot Jazz is Seattle’s non-profit jazz support organization. We’re proud to be a valued part of this city’s incredible cultural scene; celebrating Seattle’s place at the table with the past, present, and future of jazz. As the National Endowment for the Arts 50th anniversary magazine pointed out in a recent profile titled, “Seattle’s Earshot Jazz, Improvising with the Community,” this organization is widely respected for “thinking globally and acting locally.” Our goal is to increase the overall sustainability of jazz by nourishing the civic appetite for this music, through programming that cultivates, sources, and serves the creative abundance of our students and artists.

Growing from our 30-year legacy as one of the most organically forward-thinking and inclusive festivals in the country, this year’s spread serves up a bold lineup of international masters and locally sourced pleasures, alongside a robust menu of some of the most important jazz artists of our time. Yes, there are artists from 15 different countries, and many of the top names on the New York scene, but it is the connections to Seattle’s own, acclaimed jazz history that resonate most deeply here.

We’ll directly connect to the past, present, and future of jazz in Seattle’s Central District through three important presentations: Gary Hammon’s In Case You Didn’t Know reveals the essence of Black artists in the development of Seattle jazz; while the Folks Project of D’Vonne Lewis, Evan Flory-Barnes, and Darrius Willrich carries the tradition forward through contemporary influences in performance and discussion led by Dr. James Gore of the Jackson Street Music Program; both at Langston Seattle. Supporting the future of that continuum is the Jazz Up Jackson Street program we’ll help to mount at Town Hall Seattle, to benefit the long-standing connection between the Central District’s Washington Middle School and Garfield High School, and help to ensure equity and inclusion as those programs move forward in these challenging times.

Of course, there are many cooks in this festival kitchen. This event is only sustained successfully through the combined energies of literally hundreds of participants. It could not happen without the artists at its core, and it cannot continue without the educators, students, parents, and civic leaders whose dedication to the importance of arts education and creative individual expression will only benefit our collective culture.

We are enormously grateful to all of our partners in this endeavor. Thank you all!!

And that means you, too. Please consider a gift to Earshot Jazz as part of our Access Inspiration campaign this fall. Your donations help us keep ticket prices low, offer low and nocost student tickets, and bring incredible artists into creative engagement with the community through workshops and panels.

Keep in touch and give us your feedback. Have fun and enjoy! Jazz lives right here! Bon Appétit!
John Gilbreath, Executive Director


Posted on

October 3, 2019