Letter from the Director

Improvising with the Community

The Earshot Jazz Festival has an update for you on the “Is Jazz Dead?” issue.

No. In fact, jazz isn’t even sick – far from it. The work we’ve seen in the opening half of this year’s festival is the strongest, most vibrant and engaging music we’ve ever heard.

From the jaw-dropping fireworks of the Wayne Shorter Quartet and the gorgeous new compositions by Wayne Horvitz, to the exciting discovery of an artist like Edmar Castañeda and the hip mysticism of Charles Lloyd, Earshot’s opening week was a stunner. Moving forward through the schedule, and around the city with a multiplicity of concerts, this year’s Earshot Jazz Festival is revealing an art form that is familiar yet brand new, exciting yet comforting, localized yet global in scope, and absolutely alive!

With a couple of weeks of events still to come, there are plenty of opportunities to catch up with one of the most fascinating and dynamic cultural expressions this planet has ever produced. We’ll pay tribute to some of the masters, check in with some of the innovators, welcome back old friends, discover more exciting new work, and bask in the creative flow of this serious beauty.

This is the Earshot Jazz organization operating at its highest calling: serving the jazz artists, audiences, and educators of this region with prime examples of the music we all love, and enriching the cultural ambience of this entire city in the process. Please join us!

We’ve added a couple of events and embellished some others. Details follow herein. And check the Earshot website, earshot.org, for daily updates and ticket options.

We are honored that our work has been recognized in the special 50th-anniversary celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts, with a three-page feature in NEA’s bi-annual magazine, recognizing those who are “Shaping America’s Cultural Landscape.”  Check out the Earshot Jazz profile, “Improvising with the Community,” on the NEA website, arts.gov.

And thank you for your support!

 – John Gilbreath, Executive Director