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

  • One Direction's Niall Horan will do 2018 tour and release solo album

    One Direction's Niall Horan will do 2018 tour and release solo album

    There is apparently only one direction for Niall Horan, and that's to head due west from Europe. The Irish-born teen-pop star and former One Direction member on Friday announced he will embark on an extensive 2018 U.S. summer tour as part of his "Flicker World Tour 2018." The tour is set to begin...

  • KAABOO reignites this weekend

    KAABOO Del Mar  which kicks off its third annual edition this weekend at the Del Mar racetrack and the adjacent fairgrounds, is an upscale music, comedy, food and drink festival. Except that it is  not an upscale music, comedy, food and drink festival. Confused? Don't be. To quote  the KAABOO website...

  • Del Mar racetrack's Bing Crosby season brings more tunes to SD

    The Roots and Santa Barbara-bred reggae band Iration will perform in November at the Del Mar racetrack. Both acts will be appearing as part of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's fall Bing Crosby Season, which runs Nov. 1-26. The Roots will perform Nov. 11, followed by Iration on Nov. 18. By coincidence,...

  • KAABOO comedy co-headliner Sebastian Maniscalco owes it all to Stevie Wonder

    KAABOO comedy co-headliner Sebastian Maniscalco owes it all to Stevie Wonder

    Sebastian Maniscalco may be the only comedy star who can credit the start of his career to a fourth-grade book report, let alone a book report about one of the most revered artists in popular music history. "I did a book report on the autobiography of Stevie Wonder and I came into class  dressedas...

  • Florida Georgia Line, Garth Brooks + Keith Urban head 2018 Stagecoach bill

    Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and  Florida Georgia Line will headline the 2018 Stagecoach country music festival. To be held April 27-29 on the grassy fields of the Empire Polo Club in Indio, the festival will also feature everyone from  Kenny Rogers, Jason Isbell and Gordon Lightfoot to Dwight Yoakam,...

  • KAABOO-bound Michael McDonald is hip again, thanks to new collaborations

    KAABOO-bound Michael McDonald is hip again, thanks to new collaborations

    Former Steely Dan and Doobies Brothers' singer/keyboardist Michael McDonald is hip again - at the age of 65. Credit his recent collaborations with Thundercat and Grizzly Bear, shout-outs from Mac DeMarco, and the surge in popularity of yacht-rock with young hipster music fans. In addition to being...

  • Fresh Sound series resumes 20th season Saturday

    Fresh Sound series resumes 20th season Saturday

    San Diego's visionary Fresh Sound concert series of cutting-edge music will kick off the second half of  its 20th anniversary season with a Saturday concert by solo bagpipe virtuoso Matt Welch. His 7:30 p.m. performance at Bread & Salt in Barrio Logan will be followed by an Oct. 27 concert by trombonist...

  • Jason Mraz to perform San Diego solo acoustic concert

    Jason Mraz to perform San Diego solo acoustic concert

    Jason Mraz has just one concert scheduled so far this fall - and it's almost in his backyard, at least figuratively speaking. The two-time Grammy Award-winning troubadour lives in Oceanside, just 38 miles north of downtown San Diego's Spreckels Theater, where he will perform a solo acoustic show...