Kevin Whitehead

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 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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Music Reviews
2:05 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

New Release Features Jazz Flutist Sam Most's 'Breathy, Punchy Sound'

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Music Reviews
1:29 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

Reissue Of Thelonious Monk's 'Riverside Recordings' Shows A Star On The Rise

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Music Reviews
1:39 pm
Fri July 10, 2015

Duke Ellington's 'Plank Session' Offers Snapshots Of A Jazz Master At Work

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:09 pm

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Music Reviews
1:31 pm
Mon June 29, 2015

'BrotherLee Love' Offers A Fearless, Fresh Tribute To Trumpeter Lee Morgan

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Music Reviews
12:02 pm
Fri June 12, 2015

Michael Gibbs And Bill Frisell Team Up On A New Big Band Record

Originally published on Fri June 12, 2015 1:43 pm

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Music Reviews
1:16 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

The Gary Peacock Trio Balances Introspection And Drive In 'Now This'

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Music Reviews
3:04 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

In 'Take Off,' Ramon Valle Makes The Piano Sing

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 5:36 pm

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Music Reviews
3:00 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

'The In Crowd': An Audience-Fueled Jazz-Pop Crossover Hit

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This is FRESH AIR. Fifty years ago today in a Washington nightclub, Chicago's Ramsey Lewis Trio recorded "The 'In' Crowd," the rare jazz single that landed on the pop charts. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the audience was half the show.

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Music
2:37 pm
Thu April 30, 2015

Two Takes On Billie Holiday

In honor of Billie Holiday's 100th birthday this month, several artists are releasing out Holiday tribute albums. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead looks at a couple of these by other singers. One he rather likes; the other, not so much.

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Music
3:07 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Billie Holiday's Voice Was Always Her Own

Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago Tuesday in Philadelphia. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has some thoughts on Holiday's changing style, her influences, and singers she influenced.

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