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

  • Summer arts preview: Top 10 pop music concert picks

    Summer arts preview: Top 10 pop music concert picks

    With apologies to woodchucks everywhere: How many San Diego summer concerts can a concertgoer go to if a San Diego concertgoer can go to an unlimited number of summer concerts? That question is easier to ask than to answer. There are so many options here this summer that the most intrepid concertgoer...

  • Reflecting on loss of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell

    Reflecting on loss of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell

    The music world is reacting with understandable shock over the Wednesday night death of Soundgarden/Audioslave singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, whose death at 52 is now being investigated as a "possible suicide" by Detroit police. On Thursday, his death was ruled a suicide by hanging...

  • Chris Stapleton transcends country, rock & blues

    Chris Stapleton transcends country, rock & blues

    If there is anyone who delivers a more soulful or mesmerizing introduction of their band in concert than Chris Stapleton, I have yet to hear them. This Kentucky-born troubadour's introduction of his band members at his sold-out Humphreys show here last May was so good, in fact, it was a highlight...

  • 'Mardi Gras in May!' brings Louisiana flavor to San Diego

    'Mardi Gras in May!' brings Louisiana flavor to San Diego

    Gator by the Bay bills itself as "Mardi Gras in May." An even better hook might be: "Mardi Gras in May - minus the stifling heat and humidity of New Orleans." Either way, this annual San Diego celebration of Louisiana music, culture, cuisine and revelry will celebrate its 16th anniversary Thursday...

  • 'American Idol' will return to TV

    'American Idol' will return to TV

    "American Idol" is returning to TV, just 16 months after the singing competition series was axed last year - after 15 seasons - because of plunging ratings. The show, which had previously aired on Fox, will have a new home on ABC , the network announced early Tuesday morning on "Good Morning America."...

  • Despite top hits, The Chainsmokers struggle to sell arena shows

    Despite top hits, The Chainsmokers struggle to sell arena shows

    Too much, too soon, for The Chainsmokers? Is the stardom this New York-bred EDM duo achieved last year already on the decline? Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart had no trouble drawing a capacity crowd of at least 15,000 fans when The Chainsmokers performed here last September at the KAABOO Del Mar festival...

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