Revolution and evolution: Jazz rolls under both banners – too fast for some and too slow for others – but always in motion. The flexible equation plays out here in Seattle as dynamically as anywhere else in the world.
I’ve always been attracted to the tension that seems to be present in the forward progression of jazz. Assuming that the art form has a fundamental (though completely unspecified and variously interpreted) mandate to expand and change as the years go by, its potential has to grow exponentially each year, with each new artist and each new jazz fan. The questions of “How far?” and “How fast?” are always simmering under the surface.
I, myself, have evolved, or revolved, longer and, yes, further, than I’d ever imagined, grateful that the most recent 25 years have been deeply involved with Seattle Jazz through this great Earshot Jazz organization. Each year has been rich and rewarding, and, like jazz itself, each has been a little different than the one before.
Amidst this constant evolution, two Earshot Jazz programs have given us all a lens to stop and say, “Hold up, this is us, right now.” One is this very magazine that you hold in your hands, which is part of 32 years of monthly documentation of this rich and varied jazz scene. This month’s cover artists, The Tiptons, easily embody the Seattle jazz aesthetic of being creative beyond anything previously conceived, yet rooted in jazz tradition and the overall story of our region.
The other program is the annual Golden Ear and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame Awards, which we’ll hold this month on March 15, 7pm, at The Royal Room in Columbia City. We’ll honor the accomplishments of Seattle jazz artists in this previous year, enjoy music from Eugenie Jones, and relish in the dignified hipness of emcee Jim Wilke. We absolutely request the honor of your attendance. Please join us!
– John Gilbreath, Executive Director