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Nate Chinen

Editorial Director

Nate Chinen has been writing about jazz for more than 25 years.

He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As the director of editorial content at WBGO, he worked with the multiplatform program Jazz Night in America and contributed a range of coverage to NPR Music.

A 13-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, Nate is also coauthor of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, the 2003 autobiography of festival impresario and producer George Wein.

His work appears in Best Music Writing 2011, Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (Duke University Press, 2012), and Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History (Voyageur Press, 2012).

Nate was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He started his career as a music critic in 1996, at the Philadelphia City Paper. There he covered one of the great jazz cities at ground level, writing a steady stream of reviews and features, along with a biweekly column, The Gig.

He moved to New York City in 1998, and began writing for a range of publications, including DownBeat, Blender, and Vibe. For several years he was the jazz critic for Weekend America, a syndicated radio program. He covered jazz for the Village Voice from 2003 through 2005, when he became a regular contributor to The New York Times. Around the same time, he revived The Gig as a column for JazzTimes, where it ran in 125 consecutive installments.

Starting in 2017 and until August, 2022, Nate was director of editorial content at WBGO, based in Newark, NJ. — managing the full spectrum of editorial coverage at wbgo.org, and joining radio veteran Greg Bryant as co-creator and co-host of Jazz United, which won the JJA’s award for Podcast of the Year in each of its two seasons.

A regular contributor to NPR Music and correspondent for NPR’s Morning Edition, Nate is a consulting producer with Jazz Night in America, a multimedia program hosted by Christian McBride.

"I'm thrilled to join the team at WRTI," says Nate, "and to serve this amazing musical community again. A lot of exciting things are ahead.”

Nate lives in Wynnewood, PA with his wife and two daughters.