Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Kevin Whitehead: Jazz Answers & Questions

Author of new guide to jazz talks about his background in journalism and his approach to explaining jazz to newer listeners

Author Kevin Whitehead
Why Jazz? book cover

Kevin Whitehead has written about jazz since the late ’70s, and has been the jazz critic for NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross” since 1987. He’s written for a long list of publications, including JazzTimes, the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, Down Beat, Village Voice and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant. Whitehead lived in Amsterdam in the late ’90s, when he wrote New Dutch Swing (1998), about improvised music there. He also edited the oral history Bimhuis 25: Stories of Twenty-five years at the Bimhuis. His work as a jazz writer has appeared in anthologies including Jazz: The First Century, The Gramophone Jazz Good CD Guide, Mixtery: a Festschrift for Anthony Braxton, Da Capo’s Best Music Writing 2006, and most recently, Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro Black and other Solar Myths. He’s taught at the University of Kansas and Goucher College.

Whitehead spoke with JT about his new book, Why Jazz?, a guide to understanding jazz for new (and old) listeners. He also shares his insight into the evolving world of music and jazz journalism.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published