George Varga


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

  • KAABOO releases 2017 culinary lineup

    KAABOO releases 2017 culinary lineup

    Damn right it's better than yours! Will those lyrics from Kelis's 2003 hit song, "Milkshake," become a mantra for the chefs who demonstrate their skills at KAABOO  Del Mar  in September? We'll find out when Kelis - a Le Cordon Bleu graduate who in 2014 debuted her Cooking Channel show, "Saucy and...

  • Black Eyed Peas to celebrate new graphic novel at Comic-Con

    Black Eyed Peas to celebrate new graphic novel at Comic-Con

    Boom Boom Pow! Are the members of Black Eyed Peas getting ready to join the cast of "The Walking Dead?" You might think so after learning the Peas' will be at  Comic-Con  in San Diego this week to celebrate their new project, "Masters of the Sun - The Zombie Chronicles." But names can be misleading....

  • 'Coffee House' tour hits North Park Saturday

    'Coffee House' tour hits North Park Saturday

    How caffeinated will Joshua Radin and Rachael Yamagata be when they perform Saturday at Observatory North Park? They are, after all, embarked on The Coffee House Live Tour. But that moniker actually refers to the troubadour-championing Sirius XM satellite radio show sponsoring their joint concert...

  • Blink-182 tops Pearl Jam on Billboard's 2016 Top 50 Moneymakers list

    Beyoncé,  Guns N' Roses and Bruce Springsteen are the highest-earning music stars on Billboard magazine's Top 50 Moneymakers of 2016 list. Their estimated net incomes last year come out to, respectively, $62.1 million for Beyoncé, $42.3 million for Guns N' Roses and $42.2 million for Springsteen....

  • Jay-Z announces 4:44 concert tour

    Jay-Z announces 4:44 concert tour

    Jay-Z  may still have 99 problems, as he famously rapped in his 2004 hit, but a buzz-worthy new tour isn't one of them. The hip-hop superstar and husband of  Beyoncé  will kick off his 4:44 concert tour Oct. 27 at the  Honda Center  in Anaheim. It will conclude with four more California shows in...

  • Shakira announces El Dorado world tour

    Shakira announces El Dorado world tour

    Hips, and hits, don't lie - Shakira is hitting the road for an extensive international concert trek. Her El Dorado World Tour begins Nov. 17 in Cologne, Germany, and concludes Feb. 9 in Las Vegas. The second-to-last date is a Feb. 9 show at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, where she last...

  • Maxwell gets candid about music longevity

    Maxwell gets candid about music longevity

    At the age of 44, neo-soul star Maxwell seems too young to be bridging many generation gaps. But that's exactly what this Brooklyn-born vocal dynamo is doing, as his audiences attest at each stop on his current concert tour. "I call out the decades each night onstage - '50s. '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s...

  • CRSSD Festival announces fall 2017 lineup

    Chromeo, Australia's RÜFÜS DU SOL, Cut Copy and Richie Hawtin head the lineup for the 2017 fall edition of CRSSD Festival at San Diego's Waterfront Park on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. They are among the first 42 acts confirmed to perform at the sixth edition of the proudly edgy electronic music marathon,...