Letter from the Director


Listening Forward to October 7!

The 30th Earshot Jazz Festival is right around the corner, and we are stoked to the maximum. The schedule is all set, tickets are on sale, and further details are on their way to metaphorical telephone poles all around the city. This is going to be fun!!

We’re going to come out swinging hard on October 7, with events at KEXP, the Triple Door, and Lo-Fi, and continue with more than 60 events in venues all around the city through November 4. Each ensemble in each concert holds its own special magic, but as a whole, this festival reflects Seattle’s distinctive taste for innovation, and captures a panorama snapshot of the ever-expanding universe of jazz, “America’s greatest gift to world culture.”

Over its 30-year history, the Earshot festival has presented many of the giants of the art form from around the world. (I’m hoping to include a full list in next month’s issue.) In serving Seattle artists, educators, and audiences over that time, Earshot has also come to reflect the “personality” of Seattle’s creative community, presenting an overall lineup that includes over 60% Seattle resident artists, and engaging audiences with compelling music that reflects both the history and the progression of the music. Every advancement in art comes from individual challenges to existing structures. That’s where jazz lives. Earshot Jazz is known for its commitments to risk-taking, and we’re blessed with beautiful and hip audiences, like yourselves, who are eager for the “sound of surprise.”

We are proud to begin a series of concerts in collaboration with Seattle’s new non-profit, Langston, resident at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, especially within the context of Langston’s mission of “Cultivating Black Brilliance.” We are also delighted that the “Within Earshot” series, at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, will continue this year, throughout the month of October. We are super excited to host a four-day residency with composer and NEA Jazz Master Maria Schneider in collaboration with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, and happy to welcome new community partners along with our established collaborators.

I originally was thinking to make a list here of all of the concerts I am most looking forward to, and why, but I would need a couple more pages. There are some incredible opportunities on this year’s schedule. Don’t hesitate to contact the office, or shoot me an e-mail at john@earshot.org with any questions or comments. My door is so open that there isn’t even a door. I look forward to hearing from you.

–John Gilbreath, Executive Director


Posted on

August 27, 2018