Earshot Jazz supports jazz in our home community, from its deep cultural heritage rooted in the Black American experience to its global progression and expansion as a musical force. In 38 years of service, Earshot Jazz has become a valued part of Seattle’s vibrant cultural community.
Like jazz itself, we aspire to be responsive to our environment, dedicated to creativity, and fluid in our approach. We honor our traditions without being bound by them, and we are confident of a future that celebrates accomplishment and expertise wrapped in the soul of human expression.
We understand the need to earn our valued position within this region’s cultural community by providing a hub of support to jazz artists, audiences, presenters, students, and educators through concert presentations, a monthly magazine, and community engagement activities.
Vision: Jazz is widely embraced and highly valued as America’s great gift to world culture
Mission: To ensure the legacy and progression of the art form Earshot Jazz cultivates a vibrant jazz community by engaging audiences, celebrating artists, and supporting arts education.
Core Values: Honor Diversity, Nurture Creativity, Respect Artists, Prioritize Accessibility, and Pursue Collaboration
EARSHOT JAZZ MAGAZINE
Since 1984, over 2 million copies of the Earshot Jazz magazine have been distributed free of charge around the city. Providing careful documentation of one of the most vibrant jazz scenes in the country, it includes resident artist profiles, news, reviews, and previews.
Calendar: The comprehensive calendar of jazz events in the region, is a free service provided to artists, venues, and other presenters. It is available in print and online.
Archives: In 2021 we launched the Earshot Jazz Magazine Archive in collaboration with Seattle Public Library’s Special Collections Online, enabling the public free digital access to 38 years of Seattle Jazz history.
Earshot Jazz typically presents 100 of Seattle’s most memorable concerts each year, presenting dynamic original work by established and emerging artists. After weathering the in-person concert restrictions during the COVID-19 health crisis, we're now offering both in-person and livestream concerts. We present national touring artists alongside our own world-class resident artists. As a presenter, Earshot is widely respected for adventurous programming by creative artists whom would typically not be considered viable on commercial stages.
Earshot Jazz Festival: For over 30 years, we’ve been putting on the biggest jazz fest in the Pacific Northwest featuring concerts, panel discussions, and community-focused programming. The festival brings jazz greats from around the world into creative collaboration with audiences and artists while celebrating Seattle’s place in the world of jazz.
Jazz: The Second Century: This series brings the progression of jazz into creative motion and is a current and un-sentimental look at our city’s engagement with this diffuse, vibrant art form. Seattle artists, selected by a peer panel, perform original work.
Concert of Duke Ellington's Sacred Music: Now in it's 35th year, Ellington's serious and swinging "Sacred Music” was written late in his career for jazz big band, vocal and instrumental soloists, gospel choir, and tap dancers. Look out for this concert in late December.
Golden Ear Awards and Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame: Earshot hosts the annual "Golden Ear" Seattle Jazz Awards to honor the significant achievements of area artists. In 2023 we gathered around 100 jazz musicians, and community members under one roof at The Royal Room, and enjoyed music from a local band led by the much-loved pianist Marina Albero, along with bassist Kelsey Mines, and drummer Xavier Lecouturier.
Commissions: To support the creation of work by our own resident artists we established a new commissioning program in 2022. Selecting 3 artists per year, the funded artists receive a $3,000 commissioning fee and their new work is premiered at the annual Earshot Jazz Festival in the fall.
Access to the Art: Engagement through wide accessibility is one of our core values. Our current offerings include adult ticket prices are ½ that of commercial presenters, $10 student tickets; student groups (10+) tickets at $5; day-of-show pay-what-you-can access; and an allotment of free tickets to ALL events; 25% of festival concerts available with livestream option.
"Earshot Serves as Platform for Thriving Seattle Scene" - DownBeat magazine, 2019
"Despite its international reputation, Earshot has remained a true community organization." - NEA Arts magazine, 2015
Banner image of Jeff Parker, Junius Paul and Makaya McCraven by Lisa Hagen Glynn, from the 2022 Earshot Jazz Festival.