Gene Santoro

Music Critic

A former working musician and Fulbright Scholar, Gene Santoro also covers film and jazz for the New York Daily News.

He has written about pop culture for publications including: The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, People, The New York Post, Spin, 7 Days and Down Beat.

Santoro has authored two essay collections, Dancing In Your Head (1994) and Stir It Up (1997), which were both published by Oxford University Press, and a biography of jazz great Charles Mingus, titled Myself When I Am Real: The Life and Music of Charles Mingus (Oxford, 2000). He is currently completing
Made in America, essays about musical countercultures.

In addition, Santoro's writing has been included in such anthologies as Reading Jazz: A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now, Mass Culture and Everyday Life, The Oxford Jazz Companion, The Jimi Hendrix Companion and The B.B. King Companion.

While contributing articles about rock to the Encyclopedia Brittanica and The Encyclopedia of New York City, he is also on the editorial advisory board of The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. He has appeared on radio and TV shows like The Edge, Eleventh Hour, All Things Considered and Fresh Air.

Folk’s Missing Link Folk’s Missing Link

I was in high school in the 1960s when I first saw Dave Van Ronk at the Gaslight, one of those little cellar clubs that used to line a Greenwich Village that now lives in myth an...

Apr 4, 2002 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Jazzing Politics Jazzing Politics

Don Byron and Dave Douglas put the political back into jazz.

Nov 29, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

American Buffalo American Buffalo

The band's kaleidoscopic range helps account for the wealth of its artistry.

Aug 9, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Blowin’ in His Own Wind

Blowin’ in His Own Wind Blowin’ in His Own Wind

How the protest singer turned surrealistic prophet.

May 25, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

‘The Sound of Surprise’ ‘The Sound of Surprise’

Bright and eager, bouncy and buoyant, sharp-eyed and quick-eared and passionately in love--those are a few of the ways you could describe Calle 54, director Fernando Trueba's trib...

May 17, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Visiting the Folks Visiting the Folks

I was born by a Kerouac stream under Eisenhower skies          --John Gorka The New Folk Movement is now about twenty years old, an...

Mar 30, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Letters Letters

THE SUITES & THE SWEATS New York City In "Economists vs. Students" [Feb. 12], Liza Featherstone and Doug Henwood cheer on students who demand tha...

Feb 15, 2001 / Letters / Doug Henwood, Liza Featherstone, Gene Santoro, and Our Readers

Scarlet Letter’s Last Blush Scarlet Letter’s Last Blush

REBELS WITH A CAUSE A director, now an old man, alone, sits in his tidy house by the sea, everything in its place, the notebooks piled in their drawer, the letter opener and pen n...

Feb 15, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

All That Jazz All That Jazz

Let's cut to the chase on Ken Burns's Jazz, which rolled out on PBS January 8, by invoking Wallace Stevens. 1) Is it entertaining TV? Mostly, in PBS fashion. ...

Jan 12, 2001 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Coronation by Cornet Coronation by Cornet

LOUIS ARMSTRONG AT 100 In 1927 a young cornetist led his band into a meticulously hilarious version of a classic composition Jelly Roll Morton had made famous, "Twelfth St...

Nov 10, 2000 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro