Kevin Whitehead Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
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Kevin Whitehead

Kevin Whitehead

Jazz Critic, Fresh Air

Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film (2020), Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

Whitehead has taught at Towson University, the University of Kansas and Goucher College. He lives near Baltimore.

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Story Archive

French-Canadian Clarinetist François Houle Bridges The Border With 'RECODER'

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'Fresh Air' Celebrates The 90th Birthday Of Jazz Improviser Sonny Rollins

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Charlie Parker, Born 100 Years Ago, Made Jazz Complexities Sound Deceptively Easy

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Pianist James Carney's 'Pure Heart' Is A Party Where Everyone's Eager To Mingle

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Belated New Music From Drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers Is A Gem

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Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire Mixes The Playful And Solemn On A New Album

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Drummer Chad Taylor Radiates Good Vibrations On 'The Daily Biological'

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In Defense Of Jazz Biopics: Melodramas And Morality Tales, Set To Music

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In Jazz-Movie Endings, Some Story Elements Just Keep Bouncing Back

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Trio Infuses 'Transylvanian Folk Songs' With Mystery And Clarity

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Saxophonist Dayna Stephens' 'Liberty' Feels Right For The Way We're Living

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Remembering Trailblazing Jazz Saxophonist Lee Konitz

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Lisa Mezzacappa's 'Cosmicomics' Riffs On Italo Calvino's Scientific Surrealism

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Jazz Guitarist Jeff Parker Crosses Musical Genres On 'Suite For Max Brown'

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Remembering McCoy Tyner, A Jazz Legend Who Created His Own Style

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