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

  • Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull announce new fall leg of their joint concert tour

    Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull announce new fall leg of their joint concert tour

    Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias are extending their joint North American concert tour with a fall leg that starts Sept. 22 in Houston and concludes Oct. 28 in Oakland. The new leg includes an Oct. 22 show at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center. All the newly added cities and dates appear below,...

  • A check in with The Pixies and the band's newest member

    A check in with The Pixies and the band's newest member

    Paz Lenchantin is understandably thankful to be the newest member of the Pixies, the groundbreaking alternative-rock band that she joined in 2014. But the Argentinian-born bassist and singer is just as thankful that she didn't pass her audition to join the group, after Pixies' co-founder Kim Deal...

  • Singer Lila Downs reflects on days as a Deadhead

    Singer Lila Downs reflects on days as a Deadhead

    Different worlds converge, rather than collide, in the improbably varied life and music of Lila Downs. Like the Grateful Dead , the fabled San Francisco band she used to follow from city to city and concert to concert, she embraces the earthy, the cosmic and much in between. Downs, a Grammy Award-winning...

  • Dreamcar to team No Doubt members with AFI singer

    Dreamcar to team No Doubt members with AFI singer

    After years of attending the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival with some of his No Doubt band mates, Tony Kanal will finally perform at Coachella for the first time with those same band mates. Here's the twist: It won't be with No Doubt. In place of Gwen Stefani, No Doubt bassist Kanal, guitarist...

  • Coachella festival set to soar in Indio

    Coachella festival set to soar in Indio

    Success changes everything, and no other annual festival in the world has been as successful as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. This year's edition, which runs Friday through Sunday and April 21-23 at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, will be headlined by Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and ...

  • New Order will make its Coachella festival date a family affair

    New Order will make its Coachella festival date a family affair

    Performing at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will be a family affair in more ways than one for New Order keyboardist and guitarist Gillian Gilbert and her husband, drummer Stephen Morris. The couple, who have been married since 1994, will be accompanied at Coachella by their daughters,...

  • The Shins and Spoon announce four joint concerts

    The Shins and Spoon announce four joint concerts

    The Shins and Spoon are teaming up for a four-city fall mini-tour that opens Oct. 30 in Berkeley and concludes Oct. 5 outside Denver. It will include an Oct. 1 show at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU. That should come as good news to San Diego fans who were unable to attend either...

  • Tune town: A spotlight on San Diego band Nancarrow

    Tune town: A spotlight on San Diego band Nancarrow

    From Jewel , Switchfoot and P.O.D. to Tom Waits, Rocket From The Crypt and Andra Day, this fair city has produced more than its fair share of top talent over the years. Here's a look at Nancarrow, a local band that's worth tuning into now. About the band Graham Nancarrow: vocals, guitar Joe Weisiger:...

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