The history of JazzTimes magazine dates back to Radio Free Jazz, a publication founded in 1970 by Ira Sabin when he was operating a record store in Washington, D.C. It was originally a newsletter designed to update shoppers on the latest jazz releases and provide jazz radio programmers with a means of communicating with the industry. However, Radio Free Jazz grew substantially over the next decade, attracting readers and writers from around the world.
In 1980, the magazine’s broader focus and appeal prompted a name change, so Radio Free became JazzTimes. In 1990, the magazine itself underwent a change, receiving a bold new look that incorporated exclusive cover photography and state-of-the-art graphic design. Since then, JazzTimes has continued to evolve into what is widely regarded as the world’s leading jazz publication.
Here’s what you’ll find in the pages of JazzTimes today:
Extensive News Coverage
Who’s recording what and with whom? What are the latest releases and reissues? Who’s booked to perform at your favorite jazz festival? What’s the latest word in books, films, TV, cyberspace? You’ll find the answers to these and many other questions in every issue of JazzTimes.
Award-Winning Jazz Journalism
The list of contributors reads like a who’s who of jazz journalism. Nate Chinen, Ashley Kahn, David Adler, and other well-known writers regularly appear in JazzTimes, providing readers with the kind of insightful reviews and coverage unavailable anywhere else. Not surprisingly, several of our contributors have received ASCAP/Deems Taylor awards for excellence in music journalism.
Hundreds of Album, Book, and Video Reviews
How do you keep up with the hundreds of albums released every month? It’s not easy. Each month JazzTimes sifts through all the new audio, video, and book releases in order to provide readers with informative, money-saving reviews of what’s worth purchasing and what isn’t.
World-Class Photography and Award-Winning Graphics
The unrivaled roster of photographers who have contributed to JazzTimes speaks for itself: Herman Leonard, Lee Tanner, John Abbott, and Jimmy Katz top the distinguished list. The combination of their images and award-winning graphic treatments has given JazzTimes a truly distinctive visual signature. In recognition of exceptional graphic design, the magazine has been honored with several prestigious Gold and Silver Ozzie Awards.
Informative Features and Columns
In each issue of JazzTimes you’ll find a series of features and columns that shed light on a variety of artists and subjects. In Before & After, well-known jazz musicians get their ears tested to see if they can recognize the music of their peers and predecessors. In Audio/Video Files, noted audio expert Brent Butterworth gives readers the lowdown on audio and video components. Mark Stryker’s Chronology column delves into the less-explored corners of jazz history. The Scene page focuses on venues, festivals, and other locations where jazz happens. And for Artist’s Choice, players and singers tell us a few of their favorite things—from food, books, and roller coasters to themed song playlists that illustrate a given topic.
Special Theme Issues
Throughout the year JazzTimes focuses on a specific instrument—saxophone or guitar, for example—and devotes extensive editorial coverage to the subject.
No other jazz publication offers readers as many directories as JazzTimes. Our comprehensive directories for jazz clubs, education programs, and music festivals are used by readers as reference guides year-round.
Readers’ Poll and Critics’ Picks
Every year JazzTimes readers and critics cast their ballots in a pair of widely read and wildly entertaining jazz polls.