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Nate Chinen

Nate Chinen

Editorial Director

Nate Chinen has been writing about music 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 Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.

A 13-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, Nate is the author of Playing Changes: Jazz For the New Century, recognized as one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, GQ, Billboard and JazzTimes. He is also coauthor of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, the award-winning 2003 autobiography of festival impresario and producer George Wein.

Nate maintains a newsletter, The Gig, at Substack. His work also 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).

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Nate 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.

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 toThe New York Times. Around the same time, he started his monthly JazzTimes column, The Gig, which ran in 125 consecutive installments.

From 2017 until August 2022, Nate was Director of Editorial Content at Newark Public Radio — managing the full spectrum of editorial coverage at wbgo.org, and serving as a consulting producer for Jazz Night in America, a multimedia program hosted by Christian McBride. He also joined radio veteran Greg Bryant there 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.

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