Meet a Mover: Jake Ward, Impresario

Photo Credit: Andrew Leonard

Jake Ward is an acclaimed concert promoter, emcee, and event producer. Ward’s involvement in local music and arts events has been critical to the flourishing cultural vitality of the Sonoma County arts scene.

In addition to booking acts, Ward is the founder/director of a number of different events, most prominently North Bay Cabaret, a variety show series that showcases circus, burlesque, drag, comedy, poetry, and underground art. He is also the creator of North Bay Trivia and North Bay Bingo, sister projects developed to support local business by creating Trivia and Bingo Night events at local pubs, restaurants, and bars.

Who do you admire, and why?

Rick Bartalini, a personal friend and successful concert promoter, because he has been a mentor to me in both personal and professional success and is constantly challenging me to do better.

What was the last best thing you ate?

Oaxacan tamales made by my friend Neil Pacheco.

Name something you do or do not regret.

I don’t regret taking the leap of quitting my day job when I was 26 to pursue producing events full time. It taught me how to believe in myself and brave periods of struggle and uncertainty because the reward of making your passion into your career is worth it in the end.

What 3 things bring you joy?

Spending time with my family, seeing my friends succeed, and iced mochas.

Where else have you lived?

I’ve lived in Sonoma County my whole life. I look forward to (safely) traveling when the time comes, but I love where I live!

What are you good at making?

I believe I’m good at making people come together through live events in a way that facilitates social connection and creates happy memories.

Recall a time you changed your mind about something.

Having been raised in a sheltered and deeply conservative household, I would say I’ve changed my mind about basically everything.

What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?

Save the planet from climate change.

If you could instantly have one skill, what would it be?

I’d speak multiple languages.

You host an intimate dinner party with up to 4 guests, living or not. Who’s coming?

Eric Andre, Larry David, Cardi B, and Ilana Glazer.


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