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

  • David Cook: 9 years after 'American Idol' win

    David Cook: 9 years after 'American Idol' win

    In 2008, David Cook became the first rock-oriented performer to win "American Idol," thanks in part to his energetic versions of Free's "Alright Now," Collective Soul's "The World I Know," Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles' "Shop Around." Now, after a move to Nashville...

  • Young the Giant brings 'Home of the Strange' to San Diego

    The members of the Irvine-bred rock band Young the Giant have sound reasons to address issues of immigrant identity and cultural assimilation on their audacious new album, Home of the Strange. Lead singer Sameer Gadhia's parents are from India, drummer Francois Comtois is from Canada, guitarist...

  • Trombone Shorty happy to toot horns

    Trombone Shorty happy to toot horns

    Internationally acclaimed New Orleans dynamo Trombone Shorty will head a rollicking, 12-piece band when he performs Sunday at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at San Diego State University. Given how many roles he plays, though, a more accurate tally of his band members would total 16 -...

  • Tom DeLonge announces new music from Angels & Airwaves

    Tom DeLonge announces new music from Angels & Airwaves

    Angels & Airwaves is gearing back up after an extended period of band inactivity, during which  Tom DeLonge released his first solo album and several books, and  Ilan Rubin drummed again with Nine Inch Nails and released his latest album as the one-man band The New Regime. On Tuesday morning, DeLonge...

  • Dead Cross, a hardcore and thrash super group, is North Park-bound

    Dead Cross, a hardcore and thrash super group, is North Park-bound

    For fans of hardcore punk and thrash metal, Dead Cross is a veritable super group. The pile-driving band teams Faith No More singer Mike Patton and ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo with two San Diegans - former The Locust bassist Justin Pearson and guitarist Michael Crain, best known for their work...

  • Headliners announced for 2nd Ye Scallywag! fest at Waterfront Park

    Headliners announced for 2nd Ye Scallywag! fest at Waterfront Park

    It's no lie, matey: The second annual Ye Scallywag! craft beer, food, and music festival will be held at San Diego's Waterfront Park on Oct. 21 The noon to 10 p.m. event will feature at least seven punk-rock bands, including Pennywise,  Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, The Vandals, Lagwagon, Strung...

  • High note: 70 performances in 24 hours

    High note: 70 performances in 24 hours

    The second time was the charm for the San Diego quartet the  Leonard Patton Group, which Wednesday morning appeared to have set a new Guinness World Records mark for most live musical performances in a 24-hour period. The award-winning San Diego jazz and soul singer and his band  first tried on...

  • Maren Morris on music, bucking stereotypes and those four-letter words

    Maren Morris on music, bucking stereotypes and those four-letter words

    Maren Morris had to pinch herself last year when  Elton John  phoned out of the blue to sing her praises. She pinched herself again in February when she won her first Grammy Award - for Best Country Solo Performance - for "My Church," a standout song from her 2016 debut album, "Hero." But this...

67°