Seattle Times

The 2009 Earshot Jazz Festival, one of the nation’s most eclectic and protracted festivals of its kind, begins and ends its three-week run with reminders of what qualifies Seattle as a great jazz city. Assiduously engineered by Earshot director John Gilbreath, the event, which is more of concentrated series than a festival, aims to challenge and educate as much as entertain. It brings in musicians American audiences (let alone Seattle audiences) seldom get to see — somewhat unfamiliar names who are doing much of the work of innovating and redefining of jazz. Earshot features more than 50 concerts and also makes generous use of local talent. It opens Friday night at the Triple Door with the Garfield High School Jazz Band, which won this year’s prestigious Essentially Ellington competition in New York.


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