Eric Olson

Eric Olson is a Seattle-based novelist and essayist living in the Central District. He works as an environmental engineer, managing polluted sites west of the Cascades, and also plays guitar in local outfit Caveman Ego. You can learn more about him and his work at

Day In Day Out: Frazzing the Crowd @Seattle Center

The Seattle Center finally feels more new than old, and Day In Day Out, the incipient musical festival now in its third year of operation, feels newer than most anything this side of the EMP, or whatever they’re calling Paul Allen’s dusty guitar collection these days.

“The Farewell Tour” — A Convincing Underdog Tale

Readers might not expect a Northwest novel from a book about a midcentury country singer, but The Farewell Tour is very much a story of Washington state, albeit hidden in a star-spangled package.

Review: Emmet Cohen at Jazz Alley

Cohen, 33, is making waves these days as a busybody among musical busybodies. Whether operating as a bandleader, as part of his Master’s Legacy Series – recording alongside legends like Jimmy Cobb and Ron Carter – or as a sideman for Veronica Swift and Herlin Riley, the New Jersey native continues to scale all manner of jazz ladders, taking third place in DownBeat’s most recent Pianist Poll (behind Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau, not bad company).

Shape of Jazz Today: Keyon Harrold at Jazz Alley

When Ornette Coleman released The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959, the genre marched off into overblown atonality. Were a similarly titled record to drop today, it’d sound an awful lot like Keyon Harrold.

“The Ferryman:” A Dystopian Utopia

"The Ferryman" won’t overtake "The Passage" on my recommendation list, but it proves that Cronin hasn’t lost his step.

Making of a Politician: Millennial Girmay Zahilay on the Move

"If people are trying to make change, I would tell them, it's much more possible at the local level to create change than dealing with Congress, which has all these barriers."

REVIEW: Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ The Moore

Fresh on the heels of his band’s fifth album – the aptly titled V – these PNW gigs begin UMO’s first tour since 2019, which Nielson chalks up to his family taking priority over music.

Review: Dave Holland, at Inspiration’s Edge

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the man behind In a Silent Way and Bitches’ Brew should put on one of the winter’s more inscrutable shows.

Review: Karl Denson Puts in the Work

Alternating between heavy, Parliament-style funk, bluesy singing numbers, and hip-hop breakbeats, the seven-man corps tapped into impressive reserves, maintaining a fiery energy late into the night.

Review: esperanza spalding and Fred Hersch @JazzAlley

I’ve been alternately intrigued and puzzled by jazz duos ever since the winter of 2015