Published on September 6th, 2013 | by Karli Ingersoll


Remembering Som

“Isamu Jordan had a really great big heart. All of our hearts will have to grow more to make up for the absence.” – Nick Jaina


Spokane feels heavy over the loss of an iconic human being, a joyful smile and one of the most active members of the arts community. Isamu did a lot of things for Spokane’s culture but the thing I’ve been remembering most about him was his positivity and encouragement of others. Over the years in Spokane, myself and many other musicians benefitted from Som’s writing and podcasts at the Spokesman, his show promotion, publicity from the Sommie’s and just his general unbiased encouragement. He loved all genres. If you did something unique or played music with passion, he was there to pay attention. Even after he was laid off at the Spokesman he still pushed and pushed to build up the local music scene on his own time. Continuing the Sommies, booking shows and staying as invested as possible. Most people don’t realize how much that means to nervous young musicians. Just having someone there, that isn’t your mom, to pay attention. And not only pay attention, but show up and be a real engaged fan of what you are doing. And when I listen back to some of those old podcasts that are still online in the recesses of the Spokesman’s website, I am thankful that he saw something in what we were doing, however imperfect and sloppy it was. Because it was a huge part of pressing on to grow and learn more about our craft.

I hadn’t been very connected with Som recently, but I do want to honor his legacy and share that he has inspired me in so many ways throughout the years. Knowing how much the encouragement from people like Isamu as a young musician affected me, I choose to give back and support others. His legacy will continue to inspire us and hopefully will continue to make Spokane a better place. He will be greatly missed.

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About the Author

Karli is a born and raised Spokanite. She does graphic design, illustration and custom lettering full time, runs The Bartlett with her husband Caleb and loves writing about all the awesome things happening in Spokane here on Collect. In her very minimal free time she likes to bake desserts and garden.

5 Responses to Remembering Som

  1. Matt Bogue says:

    We need to continue The Sommy Awards. I am fully down to help organize in any way shape or form.

  2. admin says:

    I was just saying that to Caleb yesterday. I think we definitely should restart it. Let’s meet up soon to chat.

    • Luke says:

      PK Ginger and I were talking about it last night at the vigil. We have some ideas and would love to take part.

  3. Leah says:

    You know I’m up for helping out, too, you guys. Anything you need. Be well. I hope the Spokane music scene gives a lot more hugs out to each other after this.

  4. He will be missed, such an inspiring individual. I will never forget my first introduction to Som, when he offered us our first local coverage on a documentary we made back in 2008… I was so nervous because the topic was rather nerdy, but he was completely genuine in his interest and treated the topic very respectfully. Great guy, he will be greatly missed.

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