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.

Born to Run Born to Run

The sound of Wrecking Ball (Elektra), Emmylou Harris's 1995 album produced by former Brian Eno/Neville Brothers associate Daniel Lanois, drew me back toward her. But it was her f...

Oct 12, 2000 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Waits: Guthrie’s Heir? Waits: Guthrie’s Heir?

Tom Waits is an imaginary hobo. He cruises the oddball corners of American pop culture, collecting the deft and moving and loopy short takes he sees and imagines there.

May 6, 1999 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

The Jazz Singer The Jazz Singer

Most Americans don't like instrumental music.

Apr 1, 1999 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

The Dynasty of Mingus The Dynasty of Mingus

For the past year and a half, I've been spending most of my time between 1922 and 1979--the years of Charles Mingus's birth and death, since I'm writing his biography, due to be ...

Feb 18, 1999 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro

Sixties Laugh-In Sixties Laugh-In

"They've come to steal my dreams," whimpers a female voice.

Jan 21, 1999 / Books & the Arts / Gene Santoro