Earshot Jazz Festival

Jim Wilke

An exciting group with blazing trumpet and sizzling organ trio played opening weekend of the Earshot Jazz Festival at Tula's in Seattle, and highlights from their first set will air on Jazz Northwest  on Sunday, November 15 at 2 p.m. Pacific on 88.5 KPLU and streaming at kplu.org.

Augusta Sagnelli

Clarinetist Anat Cohen's transcendent appearances with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra last February are still resonating.

"I loved the trip to Seattle, loved meeting all the people there, the SRJO and other musicians. It was great time, and a wonderful hang," she said. "Everybody there is so nice.”

Her latest CD, "Luminosa" features a number of beautiful Brazilian melodies.  Anat first encountered the varied styles of Brazilian music when she was a student at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Sasha Arutyunova

The Earshot Jazz Festival continues through November 18 with a wide variety of performers in various venues around Seattle. Earshot's Executive Director John Gilbreath talks with Jim Wilke about some of artists appearing in the latter half of the festival.  

The music includes Flamenco jazz by Chano Dominguez, the brass quartet The Westerlies, solo guitarist Mimi Fox, retro bopper Jacob Zimmerman, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra celebrating the Billy Strayhorn centennial, and reunions with former Seattle musicians Jay Clayton and Art Lande.


Edmar Castañeda plays the arpa llanera, a traditional folkloric instrument from Columbia and Venezuela. Classical harps have 46 or 47 strings, but the smaller llanera has only 32. That makes it lighter, swifter and somehow more versatile...at least it sounds like it in the hands of this master from Bogotá.


Saxophonist Miguel Zenón has taken on some interesting projects in his career. He's a founding member of the SF Jazz Collective, a Kennedy Center jazz ambassador and the recipient of both a Guggenheim and a MacArthur fellowship.

He's also the founder of Caravana Cultural, a program designed to bring free-of-charge jazz concerts and educational presentations to rural areas of Puerto Rico. It involves both the best of New York's jazz players and young Puerto Rican musicians. 

Zenón's latest recording "Identities Are Changeable" (11/4/2014 Miel Music) is inspired by the idea of national identity as viewed or experienced by the Puerto Rican community in the United States, specifically in New York City.

Courtesy of Terrill Lee Lankford.

How exactly does a man in his 70s — a man who spent most of his adult life in and out of prison and constantly battling a drug addiction — become friends with a 14-year-old girl?

They find a common bond. And in the case of Frank Morgan and Grace Kelly, that bond was music. 

bunky's pickle

Female instrumentalists of all types have been part of jazz since its inception, but for the most part, they have been erased from the history of the music. The film "Lady Be Good: Instrumental Women in Jazz" intends to put the spotlight on the many talented women who have nearly been forgotten.

John Gilbreath is guest on Jazz Northwest preview of the 25th Earshot Jazz Festival

 John Gilbreath, Executive Director of Earshot Jazz, talks with Jim Wilke about the current Earshot Jazz Festival on this episode of Jazz Northwest.

Seattle’s biggest jazz event of the year begins this weekend. The wide-ranging Earshot Jazz Festival runs over three weeks and includes over 50 concerts by international and regional musicians who perform in many combinations and locations.

The Bad Plus aren’t the kind of trio that swings, you’re much more likely to hear after-show comments like “That rocked!” or “Those guys are epic!”

Playing songs mostly from their upcoming as-yet-untitled new album, the trio used all of the acoustic advantages of Seattle’s Town Hall – having no problem filling the room with at-times pounding piano-bass-n-drums, at times so quiet as to have all of us in the audience holding our breath.

Read the full review on Groove Notes.

We Four and Sonando was an inspired Earshot pairing Saturday at Town Hall. The concert was a tribute to two “restless geniuses” of jazz in one night.

Read more on Groove Notes.

Friday night during the Earshot Jazz Festival, Nordstrom Recital Hall was the scene of a mesmerizing solo piano performance from Brad Mehldau. The intimate setting was perfect for this concert, which was completely acoustic. No wires, no amps, no microphones, simply Mehldau and the piano.

Read more on Groove Notes.

The Earshot festival runs through Nov. 6, and through the duration of the festival Groove Notes will be delivering in-depth, ongoing coverage. We’re using a new tool for pulling in information from a wide range of sources – Twitter, Facebook and more – so come follow the action on Groove Notes.

Monktail Creative Music Concern / Flickr

KPLU’s Kevin Kniestedt kicks off his preview of the Earshot Jazz Festival today by interviewing executive director of Earshot, John Gilbreath.

“There is so much that wants to be done and needs to be done and should be done, and this is our attempt to do as much of it as we can,” Gilbreath said.

Leading up to opening night, we will be posting posts and questions as part of a preview to the festival, and during the festival we will be bringing you reviews, updates, and most importantly, your feedback.

Read more at Groove Notes.

All day today, your $60 pledge (or greater) earns you a 2 for 1 Coupon at Jazz Alley in Seattle!You don’t even have to give $60 all at once. Become a Sustaining Member and break that down to only $5/month and a hassle-free membership to KPLU!

Make your gift to KPLU now!

In addition, we have a special treat to donors pledging $365 or more during Morning Jazz, Afternoon Jazz and Evening Jazz.  We are celebrating Earshot Jazz Thursday, and have 25 pair of tickets to an exclusive Earshot Jazz Festival performance!

The Earshot Jazz Festival gets kicked off in Seattle on October 14th and runs through November 6th. While the full schedule does not get released until September, the early bookings feature a wonderful variety of top tier musicians.

Read more.