George Varga

Writer

Veteran U-T pop music critic George Varga began drumming in rock bands at 12 and writing professionally about music at 15. A Louisiana native who grew up mostly in Germany, Varga has earned three Pulitzer Prize nominations for his writing at the U-T and is a voting member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to providing live coverage of the Grammy Awards and festivals from Coachella to the 1994 edition of Woodstock, he has interviewed everyone from Ray Charles, Miles Davis and Britney Spears to Willie Nelson, Kanye West and Bruno Mars. A triple first-prize winner at the 2014 Society of Professional Journalists awards, Varga is also a contributing writer for Jazz Times magazine and has written for Billboard, Spin and other publications. After attending San Diego City College and San Diego State University, he created and taught the 2002 UC San Diego Extension course, “Jazz in a Post-Ken-Burns World." Varga lives with his wife in North Park.

Recent Articles

  • 'Mardi Gras in May!' brings Louisiana flavor to San Diego

    'Mardi Gras in May!' brings Louisiana flavor to San Diego

    Gator by the Bay bills itself as "Mardi Gras in May." An even better hook might be: "Mardi Gras in May - minus the stifling heat and humidity of New Orleans." Either way, this annual San Diego celebration of Louisiana music, culture, cuisine and revelry will celebrate its 16th anniversary Thursday...

  • 'American Idol' will return to TV

    'American Idol' will return to TV

    "American Idol" is returning to TV, just 16 months after the singing competition series was axed last year - after 15 seasons - because of plunging ratings. The show, which had previously aired on Fox, will have a new home on ABC , the network announced early Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America."...

  • Despite top hits, The Chainsmokers struggle to sell arena shows

    Despite top hits, The Chainsmokers struggle to sell arena shows

    Too much, too soon, for The Chainsmokers? Is the stardom this New York-bred EDM duo achieved last year already on the decline? Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart had no trouble drawing a capacity crowd of at least 15,000 fans when The Chainsmokers performed here last September at the KAABOO Del Mar festival...

  • Yes, there's a mash-up of Star Wars and The Beatles

    Yes, there's a mash-up of Star Wars and The Beatles

    Just in time for the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," please welcome "Princess Leia's Stolen Death Star Plans!" That's the name of a new mash-up of every song from the Fab Four's most famous album with footage from the original 1977 "Star Wars" movie. You...

  • Janet Jackson announces her 2017 'State of the World' concert tour

    Janet Jackson announces her 2017 'State of the World' concert tour

    Janet Jackson will perform in 56 North American cities between September and December as part of her "State of the World" concert tour. The tour kicks off Sept. 7 in Louisiana at the Cajundome in Lafayette, and concludes Dec. 17 in Atlanta. It will include an Oct. 7 performance at San Diego's Valley...

  • San Diego band aiming for Guinness World Record

    San Diego band aiming for Guinness World Record

    As one of San Diego's most talented and versatile singers, Leonard Patton had made numerous records under his own name and with other musicians. On Tuesday, he and his band hope to set a live music record by performing at 70 San Diego County locations in just 24 hours. "We're calling it '70 in...

  • ¡Viva Tijuana! A trio of music acts worth a listen

    ¡Viva Tijuana! A trio of music acts worth a listen

    Editor's note: ¡Viva Tijuana! is a multi-story series about the life and culture of San Diego's modern neighbor to the south. More stories from the series can be found in links below. At least three bands of note have saluted Tijuana with their names. They include top-selling Mexican narcocorridos...

  • See what's new at this weekend's Adams Avenue Unplugged

    See what's new at this weekend's Adams Avenue Unplugged

    What 50 percent less be 50 percent better for Adams Avenue Unplugged? We'll find out Saturday when the free acoustic music marathon returns with 100 performances by 80 acts at 32 locations. It will be the first time the event will be held for one day, instead of two. The lineup, happily, remains...

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