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.
Earshot Jazz Festival
The Earshot Jazz Festival takes place every fall in venues throughout Seattle metropolitan region. The 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.
2018 Earshot Jazz Festival
Festival Dates: October 7 – November 4, 2018 with more than 50 distinctive concerts and events in venues all around the city.
Free kickoff event: October 7, 2018. Free with registration; does not guarantee entry. Entry on first-come first served based on venue capacity.
Tickets: Sold separately and priced per venue from $18-$55. For a list of concerts, to purchase tickets, or register for the kickoff event, visit: https://www.earshot.org/2018-festival-tickets/
Discount tickets to Earshot Jazz Festival
- Earshot members and senior citizens (60+) receive $2 discount on most shows.
- Student and military receive a discount when they present current ID at each venue.
- Ticket Packages (available only through Earshot Jazz office at 206-547-6763): Save 10% when you buy five or more separate concert tickets and 15% when you buy tickets to eight or more separate concert tickets.
- A special pass to all festival events: $500 general, $450 members. Available only through Earshot Jazz at 206-547-6763. Benefits include: more than 30% savings off regular price and Preferred seating for most events.
- Volunteer with the Earshot Jazz Festival to help behind-the-scenes with ushering, ticketing, and hospitality. And, if some of the music happens to fall on your ears, well hey.
Earshot Jazz concert Sacred Music by Duke Ellington
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, 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.
It is this quote that captures the spirit of the three Sacred Music concerts that Ellington premiered in 1965, 1968 and 1973, and that were the culmination of the last, liturgical phase of his life’s work in music:
Ellington’s inspiration for the Sacred Music concerts began during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In his program notes for the first concert he wrote, “How can anyone expect to be understood unless he presents his thoughts with complete honesty? This situation is unfair because it asks too much of the world. In effect, we say, ‘ I don’t dare show you what I am because I don’t trust you for a minute but please love me anyway because I so need you to. And, of course, if you don’t love me anyway, you’re a dirty dog, just as I suspected, so I was right in the first place.’ Yet, every time God’s children have thrown away fear in pursuit of honesty-trying to communicate themselves, understood or not, miracles have happened.”
In his lifetime, 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 concerts have rarely been performed in the 30 years since his death in 1974.
For 28 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 and guest vocalists, and special guest tap dancer.
When: December 28, 2018 at 7:30PM
Where: St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle 98102
- Regular seating: Adult $30, Senior/Earshot Member $28, Student/Youth/Military $15.
- Preferred seating (front and center sections): Adult $40, Senior/Earshot Member $38, Student/Youth/Military $20.
- Earshot Membership begins at $35/individual or $60/household and is fully tax-deductible. Discounts on membership are available to seniors (60+), full-time students, and military (active and veteran).
- For more information, visit: https://www.earshot.org/ellingtons-sacred-music/
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.
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 in July and August. Free with admission to Seattle Art Museum.
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