Washington 2020: Earshot Jazz Festival

Broadcasted on October 21st, 2020.

The Jazz: The Second Century series has always been about exploring the fundamental question: “One-hundred years into the art-form, what sonic shape does jazz take in its second century?” This question has never felt more relevant—or urgent—during these times of physical distancing, where musicians are being forced to explore new and innovative ways to develop and present their art. 2020 marks the first time the series is presented as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival.

Tonight’s Artists:

Leanna Keith: Leanna Keith is a flutist, composer, and improviser. This piece (untitled) is largely a response to performance in isolation. Keith’s practice is one of listening, which has obvious implications in a band setting, but far less obvious in practice when alone in a room.

Josh Hou: In the months since quarantine began, Hou has discovered remote recording as a powerful way to create music as well as maintain and build community. This is a video of a Chinese concerto, reharmonized and rearranged for jazz trio featuring Sara Heng, a guzheng player from Kuala Lumpu, all recorded in separate locatsions.

Melanie Sehman & Sarah Yates: Combining two strikingly different musical backgrounds, Melanie Sehman (drums, percussion) and Sarah Yates (double bass) form an improvising duo that approaches jazz as an exploration of the common ground between their diverse musical languages.

Francesco Crosara: Crosara’s personal brand of jazz has become more focused in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it reflects the collective anxiety of the moment while providing greater introspection in the purpose of music as a powerful source of comfort and escape.

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