John Gilbreath has been the executive director of Seattle’s respected Earshot Jazz organization since 1991. He oversees its monthly publications, educational programs and services to the community, as well as the presentation of more than 100 concerts annually, including the long-running Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle’s major annual jazz event. He has served as artistic curator of regional jazz initiatives such as the Bellevue Jazz Festival, the Anacortes Jazz Festival, EMP’s Jazz in January, and the Art of Jazz series at the Seattle Art Museum. John Gilbreath is also an active radio programmer, hosting a mix of jazz and international music on “The Caravan,” weekday mornings, M – F, on 91.3, KBCS.FM, and bringing new and adventurous music to “Jazz Theater,” Sunday nights on 90.3, KEXP.ORG.
John Gilbreath and Earshot Jazz recently received the national ASCAP/CMA Award for Adventurous Programming, were named as Jazz Journalist’s Association’s Jazz Hero, and have been honored with the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, recognizing 25 years of contributions to Seattle’s vibrant cultural community. Under Gilbreath’s leadership, Earshot Jazz was selected to participate in both the National Jazz Network of the Lila Wallace Fund and the JazzNet program of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. John Gilbreath has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts, Chamber Music America, French-American Cultural Exchange, and the MAP and Wallace Funds, as well as the Doris Duke, MacArthur, Ford, Allen, and Alpert Foundations. He is a founding board member of the Western Jazz Presenters Network, serves on various other committees, and has been an paid participant at international jazz initiatives in Norway, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In his rare spare time, he pursues an interest in stone sculpture.