Letter from the Director

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Letter from the Director

Melody, Harmony, Rhythm & Improvisation

So far, “Jazz is LIFE” has been the strongest and most common summation of our open-ended campaign. We understand, on a number of levels, that this statement is far from a quick toss-off response. Besides expressing the genuine dedication of one’s life to a creative vocation, the statement also invites us to embrace the elements of jazz as metaphors for the living of life, and the doing of our work.

The Washington Post laid out the basics recently in an article for kids, saying: “Jazz has all the elements that other music has: It has melody; that’s the tune of the song, the part you’re most likely to remember. It has harmony, the notes that make the melody sound fuller. It has rhythm, which is the heartbeat of the song. But what sets jazz apart is this cool thing called improvisation.” There is, of course, more.

Jazz is magnetized. We all go through life attracting knowledge, experience, relationships, and resources, and using all of this information to form and improve the integrity of our own forward momentum. And while all art expresses the sum of the human condition, Jazz seems to be the only art form that openly celebrates the collection of its component ingredients, and joyfully and continually reimagines these elements as new art.

All of that to say that the Earshot Jazz Festival is right around the corner, and it’s a thing of beauty. It carries the melody of tradition, embellished by the harmony of diversity, and moving forward with the syncopated rhythm of our collective hearts. And this year, even more than others, it thrives on improvisations projected in a wide spectrum of sounds and hues, from around the world, and around our ever-expanding city.

The tempo is definitely picking up at the Earshot office as we prepare the 28th edition of “Seattle’s most important annual jazz event” (DownBeat). This is a community event. Working together to help Seattle be a jazz city like no other is the life’s work of this organization. And though the melodic structure is clear, and the comping of community support is unwavering, we invite you to join us – behind the scenes, in the audience, and up on the bandstand!

Get involved! Support Jazz in Seattle!

–John Gilbreath, Executive Director