George Varga

Writer

Veteran Union-Tribune 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 2017 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-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...

  • KAABOO is back, as number of music festivals explodes (and some implode)

    When KAABOO Del Mar debuted in 2015, its focus on ritzy amenities - gourmet food and drinks, concierge service, Mercedes-Benz car service, private cabanas, surfing lessons, massages, a Las Vegas-styled "day club," and a swimming pool overlooking one of the main stages - made it seem like a high-stakes...

  • The Slants, fresh from Supreme Court victory, return for a Soda Bar show

    The Slants, fresh from Supreme Court victory, return for a Soda Bar show

    The Slants are not the first band with a controversial history set to perform in San Diego. But this Oregon dance-rock quartet is surely the first coming to perform here  after winning a landmark Supreme Court victory. That unanimous ruling concluded the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office erred in ...

  • 91X Wrex The Halls 2017 brings big names to San Diego

    The folk-rocking Denver-by-way-of-New-York band The Lumineers will headline San Diego radio station 91X-FM's annual Wrex The Halls holiday concert at Valley View Casino Center. Other acts confirmed to perform at the Dec. 9 show include Vance Joy, The War on Drugs, Arkells and  Dreamcar which teams...

  • Jason Mraz and manager Bill Silva parting company after 18 years

    Jason Mraz and manager Bill Silva parting company after 18 years

    Jason Mraz and his longtime manager, Bill Silva, are going their own ways after 18 years of making beautiful music together. The parting ends a nearly two-decade partnership for Silva, formerly San Diego's top concert promoter, and Virginia-born troubadour Mraz,  a two-time Grammy Award-winner...

  • Red-hot Icelandic blues-rock band Kaleo rolls into town

    Red-hot Icelandic blues-rock band Kaleo rolls into town

    How hot is Kaleo? So hot that this blues-rocking band from Mosfellsbær, Iceland, has relocated to Austin. So hot that its music has been featured in the hit TV series "Orange is the New Black" and "Suits." And so hot that - soon after tickets went on sale - its Tuesday concert at House of Blues...

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