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Gary Giddins

jazz journalist, writer

Nearly 25 years ago, critic Martin Williams called Gary Giddins "probably the most impressive journalist ever to have written about music." Born in Brooklyn, New York, Giddins graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa, and the following year began working as a freelance writer. In 1973, he joined *the Village Voice*, and a year later introduced his column "Weather Bird," which he ended in December 2003, closing a 30-year run during which he received international recognition and won many prizes, including an unparalleled six ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for Excellence in Music Criticism. Giddins' writings on music, books, and movies have appeared in *The New York Times*, *The New Yorker*, *Esquire*, *The Atlantic*, *Grand Street*, *The Nation*, and many other publications. He presently writes columns about music for *Jazz Times* and about film for *the New York Sun*. His first book, *Riding on a Blue Note*, appeared in 1981, and was followed by *Rhythm-a-Ning*, *Faces in the Crowd*, and critical biographies of Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong that he adapted into documentary films for PBS; he won a Peabody award for writing the PBS documentary, *John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen*. He has been nominated three times for Grammy Awards, and won in 1987 for his liner notes to *Sinatra: The Voice*.