Letter from the Director

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Letter from the Director

A Celebration of Acknowledgements

As you can see by Daniel Sheehan’s photo on this month’s cover, the recent Golden Ear awards party at the Royal Room was a huge success. Riffing on the title from Evan Flory-Barnes’ earlier creative opus, Acknowledgement of a Celebration, this annual awards program is a celebration of acknowledgements, honoring the brilliant work done by Seattle’s established and emerging artists over the previous year. And the field was rich.

This year’s recipients were selected from a record number of votes, and once again exemplify the breadth and beauty of Seattle’s world-class jazz scene. 

In fact, Seattle’s jazz scene itself is a shining example of the excellence and multiplicity of approaches that are making this such an exciting time for jazz around the world. The Earshot Jazz organization has always embraced an expansive view of the art form. Earshot’s 33-year presenting history is full of names of the adventurous seekers who have helped to pave the way for the richness of today’s scene, much as the artists we’ll present in the coming months are blazing a trail to tomorrow.

Our April concerts provide a fascinating ride down the freeway of jazz in the present tense. From the New Orleans pianist Sullivan Fortner’s fresh refinements of the traditional jazz piano trio, to drummer Makaya McCraven’s advancements of Chicago’s commitment to creative musicians, and on to the emerging vision and artistry of saxophonist María Grand. 

We are also pleased to offer the long-overdue Seattle appearance of guitarist Miles Okazaki, with his incendiary Trickster quartet. A Whidbey Island native, Miles has been enriching the New York scene for a number of years, and touring the world as part of Steve Coleman’s Five Elements group. He will appear here with everyone’s favorite pianist Matt Mitchell, and the searing funk of Coleman’s long-time rhythm team of Anthony Tidd and Sean Rickmann. 

As we charge into this spring however, we are planning for the summer and fall. We encourage Seattle artists to prepare a concept and submit an entry for the annual juried series, Jazz: The 2nd Century, which we’ll present on consecutive Thursdays in July, at the Chapel Performance Space. And we encourage all of you to dive into this issue, join us at these fascinating concert opportunities, and clear the entire month of October for another supersonic jazz festival. 

Seattle is a jazz town. Let’s all get out to hear some live jazz this month!! 

See you out there.

–John Gilbreath