The history of the magazine dates back to Radio Free Jazz, a publication founded in 1970 by Ira Sabin when he was operating a record store in Washington, DC. It was originally a newsletter designed to update shoppers on the latest jazz releases and provide jazz radio programmers with a means of communicating with the industry. However, Radio Free Jazz grew substantially over the next decade, attracting readers and writers from around the world.
In 1980, the magazine’s broader focus and appeal prompted a name change, so Radio Free became JazzTimes. In 1990, the magazine also underwent a change, receiving a bold new look that incorporated exclusive cover photography and state of the art graphic design. Since then JazzTimes has continued to evolve into what is widely regarded as the world’s leading jazz publication.
Here’s what you’ll find in the pages of JazzTimes today:
Extensive News Coverage
Who’s recording what and with whom? What are the latest releases and reissues? Who’s booked to perform at your favorite jazz festival? What’s the latest word in books, films, TV, cyberspace? You’ll find the answers to these and many other questions in every issue of JazzTimes.
Award Winning Jazz Journalism
The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of jazz journalism. Nate Chinen, Ashley Kahn, David Adler and other well known writers regularly appear in JazzTimes, providing readers with the kind of insightful reviews and coverage unavailable anywhere else. Not surprisingly, several JazzTimes contributors have received ASCAP/Deems Taylor awards for jazz journalism.
Hundreds of CD, Book and Video Reviews
How do you keep up with the hundreds of CDs released every month? It’s not easy. Each month JazzTimes sifts through all the CD releases–plus book and video releases–in order to provide readers with informative, money saving reviews of what’s worth purchasing–and what isn’t.
World Class Photography and Award-Winning Graphics
The unrivaled roster of photographers who contribute to JazzTimes speaks for itself: Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, John Abbott and Jimmy Katz top the distinguished list. The combination of their images and award-winning graphic treatments has given JazzTimes a truly distinctive visual signature. In recognition of exceptional graphic design, the magazine has been honored with several prestigious Gold and Silver Ozzie Awards.
Informative Features and Columns
In each issue of JazzTimes you’ll find a series of features and columns that shed light on a variety of artists and subjects. In Before and After, well-known jazz musicians get their ears tested to see if they can recognize the music of their peers and predecessors. In Audio/Video Files, noted audio expert Brent Butterworth gives readers the lowdown on audio and video components. The Currents columns reports monthly on contemporary jazz recordings.
Special Theme Issues
Throughout the year JazzTimes focuses on a specific instrument–saxophone or guitar, for example–and devotes extensive editorial coverage to the subject.
No other jazz publication offers readers as many directories as JazzTimes. Our comprehensive directories for jazz clubs, education programs, record labels and music festivals are used by readers as reference guides year-round.
Readers Poll and Critics Picks
Every year JazzTimes readers and JazzTimes critics cast their ballots in a pair of widely read and wildly entertaining jazz polls.
JazzTimes doesn’t just report on jazz festivals around the world, we frequently send winners of our Sound$weeps giveaways to those same festivals. Past Sound$weeps prizes have included all-expense-paid vacations to everywhere from Monterey, California to Umbria, Italy.