CLASSICAL & JAZZ EARSHOT JAZZ FESTIVAL PART 1From the straight-ahead "trad jazz" to glimmers of the avant-garde, the Earshot Jazz Festival offers a superb view of jazz today. The 18-day festival starts off with the astounding Wayne Shorter Quartet (Thursday, October 24, 8:00 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre). Composer and saxophonist Shorter, an alumnus of Miles Davis' classic 1960s groups and the overlooked jewel of Weather Report, continues to push himself and his ensemble of virtuoso players (including John Patitucci, the bassist's bassist) into fiery new territory. Additional heavyweights include the infectious New Orleans-based Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Friday, October 25, 9:00 p.m. at EMP's Sky Church) and the pairing of British sax legend John Surman with Jack DeJohnette (Saturday, October 26, 8:00 p.m. at Seattle Art Museum). Surman and DeJohnette pioneered the use of electronics in jazz, and have duetted with near telepathy on their landmark ECM recordings.

Also of note are Bobby Previte's Bump (Sunday, October 27, 8:00 p.m. at EMP's Sky Church). Featuring old compadres Wayne Horvitz (on keyboards) and saxophonist Marty Ehrlich, this gutsy, drummer-led quintet harks back to the raucous days of the late-'80s downtown-NYC jazz-rock scene. Apart from live performances, don't miss the vintage jazz films that showcase Lester Young, Count Basie, and Coleman Hawkins, among others (Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26, 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. at the Little Theatre). Earshot has obtained the 2002 documentary Strange Fruit, which profiles the legacy of Billie Holiday's classic song in the civil rights movement (Sunday, October 27, 6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 p.m. at the Little Theatre). CHRISTOPHER DeLAURENTI

The Earshot Jazz Festival runs Oct 24 through Nov 10 at various venues in Seattle, Kirkland, and Bellevue. For specific performance and venue information, check or call 547-9787. Ticket prices range from $10 to $39.50.