Preview: Earshot Jazz Festival – Oct. 4 – Nov. 6

Festival Preview: 31st Annual Earshot Jazz Festival – October 4th – November 6th
by Lisa Hagen Glynn 

Brian Blade – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn

A chill in the air and the first autumn leaves signal the start of Earshot Jazz Festival season in Seattle. The festival is presented by the nonprofit music organization Earshot Jazz, which has served greater Seattle since 1986. Unlike traditional single-weekend festivals, Earshot Jazz is a month-long event series held at venues across the region, from the intimate club Timbre Room to the spacious Benaroya Hall. 

This year’s stunning lineup features several Grammy Award winners, including drummer Chick Corea, pianist Chucho Valdés, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, drummer Brian Blade, trio Kris Davis’ Diatom Ribbons, guitarist Julian Lage, and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts (with Orrin Evans Trio). The festival highlights acts from around the world, as well as staples of Seattle’s thriving local jazz scene. Several Seattle-raised artists who now reside in New York City—pianist Aaron Parks, drummer–rapper Kassa Overall, and pianist Carmen Staaf (with Parlour Game)—will be returning home for the festival, too. With over 50 shows that span big-band to Latin to rap to avant-garde, the 2019 festival promises concert options for almost any jazz fan. 

The official event runs from October 4 to November 6, with a Brian Blade: Life Cycles “festival warm-up” that happened on September 27. Visit the Earshot web site for the schedule and tickets (including student, military, and senior discounts).