Events to check out at Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival

Music to our ears 🎶

The full Count Basie Orchestra holding various instruments in an indoor space

The Count Basie Orchestra has been active since 1935.

Photo courtesy of Earshot Jazz

Listen up, y’all. October’s about to hit a high note now that Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival is back for its 34th annual edition. Starting Sat., Oct. 8, there will be 40 head-bopping events across 30 days featuring world-renowned artists — and local legends.

That’s obviously a lot of in-person shows and virtual concerts to choose from, so we’re riffing on the ones that’ll have the most sax appeal — no matter what you’re into.

If you’re still a local jazz newbie 🎷

The Holden Legacy | Sun., Oct. 23 | 6 p.m. | Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute | $10+ | Late clarinetist/pianist Oscar Holden was known as the “Patriarch of Seattle Jazz” — his family members will take the stage for a musical history lesson.

If you wanna get those feet moving 👠

Alex Dugdale: Deca Dance | Thurs., Oct. 13 | 9 p.m.| Sea Monster Lounge, 2202 N. 45th St. | $12 | Get all funked up with the festival’s artist-in-residence, a tap-dancing saxophonist who created some ten-piece band arrangements made for cutting a rug at clubs + parties.

If you like to get weird 🥽

Christian Pincock’s Scrambler | Thurs., Oct. 27 | 8 p.m. | Chapel Performance Space, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. | $10+ | Conducting in an improv style called Soundpainting, this trombonist leads his Seattle-based ensemble in unique interpretations of everything from “The Nutcracker” to 80s pop hits.

If you just wanna chill out 🎹

Darrell Grant “MJ New” Quartet | Thurs., Oct. 27 | 7:30 p.m. | Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. + virtual | $10+ | Those who love Miles Davis-like jam sessions may dig the Portland pianist, whose soothing sound mixes in Bach fugues one minute — blues the next.

If you think the bigger the band, the better 🎺

Count Basie Orchestra with the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band | Fri., Oct. 15 | 7:30 p.m. | Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave. | $10+ | One of Seattle’s musical youth institutions gets to open for the legendary, Grammy Award-winning big band orchestra that’s still thriving 30 years after its founder’s death.

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