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.
2020 All-Digital Earshot Jazz Festival
The Earshot Jazz Festival returns in 2020 with an all-digital format!
With the typical festival programming model upended, it was opportunity to re-envision what a creative, community-focused jazz festival can look like.
The 2020 festival will be streamed straight to you, with a mix of online concert performances, panel discussions, and an emphasis on racial, social, and gender justice.
- 2020 Gold Card Digital Festival Pass gives you access to MOST events and shows your support to Earshot Jazz and the artists they serve! Gold Card pass is not valid for BIMA Within/Earshot shows, NWFF screening, or SRJO concert. Cost: $350.
- Most individual jazz performances are sliding scale. Cost: $10-$50.
- FREE live jazz music performances and panel discussions are listed below. More info: Earshot Jazz Festival 2020 calendar.
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2PM. Community Panel: Impact of the Coronavirus on Black Jazz & Blues Musicians.
- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 7PM. Jazz: The Second Century Night One. This annual series has always been about exploring the fundamental question: “One-hundred years into the art-form, what sonic shape does jazz take in its second century?”
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2PM. Community Panel: Seattle JazzED Anti-Racist Study Group.
- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 7PM. Jazz: The Second Century Night Two. Same question, different answer.
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2PM. Community Panel: The Toll of Online Jazz Education.
- SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2PM. Community Panel: The Beth and Kelly Show, Special Edition! Soulmates who love to talk shop and laugh along the way.
Earshot Jazz presents Ellington’s Sacred Music in Seattle
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/
2020 Livestream: Earshot Jazz ‘Sacred Music’ concert by Duke Ellington
For the past 31 years Earshot Jazz has presented an annual concert of Ellington’s Sacred Music.
This December the event will be a little different. The program includes video and audio footage from previous presentations, plus new duo and solo performances recorded exclusively for tonight’s event.
Join Earshot in 2020 for the world’s longest running presentation of Duke Ellington’s sacred music, presented in partnership with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.
- When: Saturday, December 26, 2020, 7:00 PM, Livestream Copresented with Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra
- Tickets: go on sale November 25.
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.