Earshot Jazz in Seattle cultivates a vibrant jazz community in the Puget Sound region to ensure the legacy and progression of the art form. Earshot encourages creative growth and jazz appreciation for students of all ages, and musicians and non-musicians alike by promoting jazz performance in venues throughout the region, annual concert series, and jazz education.
To cultivate jazz in the community, Earshot Jazz commissions new works by recognized artists, hosts benefit fundraising concerts for school and community jazz programs, plays a leadership role in national and regional jazz touring collaboration, and produces a variety of jazz events throughout the year.
In addition, the Earshot Jazz Magazine is a monthly news magazine celebrating more than 30 years of publication and the region’s only comprehensive calendar of local and regional jazz events, distributed free of charge.
Earshot jazz hosts the following key annual events.
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Earshot Jazz Festival
Jazz teaches us to listen, learn, and improvise.
The Annual Earshot Jazz Festival brings jazz greats from around the world into creative collaboration with Seattle area audiences and artists. Earshot celebrates Seattle’s place in the world of jazz with mainstage concerts by Earshot award-winning student ensembles and a strong representation by Seattle’s renowned resident artists.
Held every fall at venues around Seattle. Tickets are sold separately and priced per venue, packages are available to save you money on individual performance prices.
2021 Earshot Jazz Festival October 13 – November 7
Live jazz, with real people, in the same room, is one of the best things in the world – now, more than ever. Tickets are $10-$50. Buy tickets or more info: 2021 Festival – Earshot Jazz
In-person or live stream: The Jim Knapp Orchestra tribute concert
Jim Knapp, the legendary Seattle educator, composer, and band leader passed away on November 13, the same weekend that his last CD, “It’s Not Business, It’s Personal”, was released on Seattle’s Origin Records label. Mr. Knapp has been referred to as “Seattle’s Gil Evans,” because of his distinctive large-ensemble compositions and arrangements. As the founding member of the Jazz Department at Cornish College of the Arts and a visible pillar of the Seattle jazz scene, Mr. Knapp has inspired thousands of other artists during his 50-plus-year career.
- Sunday, December 19, 2021 at 7:30PM. The Jim Knapp Orchestra (JKO), under the direction of Jay Thomas, will perform an evening concert comprised of music from the new CD. The long-standing JKO includes many of Seattle’s top jazz artists and has remained active even through Mr. Knapp’s declining health. Tickets: $10-$50. More info: The Jim Knapp Orchestra (force.com) and
Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music
Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Music” is a reverent and hip body of jazz composition written late in his career for jazz big band, vocal, and instrumental soloists, a gospel choir, and tap dancers. Ellington’s compositions for these concerts drew heavily on earlier pieces, which were then augmented to convey an intense emotion and reverence. The pieces belied Ellington’s spirituality that was derived from his roots in the Baptist Church.
Ellington stated this was the most important music he’d ever written. However, because of the scale of the music and the sheer number of artists needed to execute each work, Ellington’s sacred music concert has rarely been performed.
For over 25 years, Earshot Jazz has presented an annual concert of Ellington’s Sacred Music. The concert features the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox, the NW Chamber Chorus guest vocalists, and special guest tap dancer.
Tickets: Regular seating: Adult $30. Preferred seating (front and center sections): Adult $40. Discounts available for seniors, military, and Earshot members. For more information or tickets, visit: https://www.earshot.org/ellingtons-sacred-music/
2021 Earshot Jazz ‘Sacred Music’ concert by Duke Ellington
For the past 30+ years Earshot Jazz has presented an annual concert of Ellington’s Sacred Music. Ellington’s wonderful “Sacred Music” is both serious and swinging. It is a reverent and hip body of jazz composition, written late in his career, for jazz big band, vocal and instrumental soloists, and tap dancers.
This year’s concert features the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, co-directed by Michael Brockman and Clarence Acox; guest vocalists Dee Daniels and Jacqueline Tabor; and special guest tap dancer Alex Dugdale. (Note: due to the unpredictability of the COVID virus and for the health and safety of performers, staff, and audiences, the Northwest Chamber Chorus under the direction of Mark Kloepper will not be performing this year.)
December 26, 2021.Rescheduled due to weather: January 2nd, 3:00 pm at Town Hall Seattle in The Great Hall. In-person or livestream. More info: Concert of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music (In-person) – Earshot Jazz and Concert of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music (Livestream) – Earshot Jazz
- Tickets: Sliding scale $10-50. More info: Buy: 2021 Concert of Duke Ellington’s Sacred Music (force.com)
Other Earshot Jazz events
- Jazz: The Second Century takes place in June. The juried series is a current look at Seattle jazz artists selected by a peer panel who perform original work in a concert setting.
- Earshot: Art of Jazz Series takes place every second Thursday, September-June at Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and July-August at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Art of Jazz is sponsored by KNKX. Free and open to the public. More info on the SAM calendar: http://www1.seattleartmuseum.org/calendar.
Earshot Jazz community calendar
Earshot Jazz maintains a community calendar of live music performances around the Puget Sound region, many at venues listed above. It’s a great resource to check anytime you are searching for music to soothe your soul. You’ll find someone playing somewhere almost every night of the year.
But wait, there’s more!
- Our big list of live music venues (all genres).
- Our big list of music festivals in Washington State.
- Here’s a list of 101+ always free things to do for fun.
- More free and cheap things to do every day: Greater Seattle on the Cheap event calendar.
- Still more ideas for frugal fun: Greater Seattle on the Cheap home page.
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Calendar of live music events
The following calendar list includes upcoming live and live stream music events in all genres. We update music events on a rolling basis all year long. We also try to have several free and low cost live music events on the calendar every weekend.