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San Diego Union-Tribune 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 and KAABOO to the 1994 edition of Woodstock, he has interviewed everyone from Miles Davis, Britney Spears and (over a game of chess) Ray Charles to Willie Nelson, Kanye West and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis. A triple first prize-winner for criticism and arts writing at the 2022 San Diego Press Club awards and a first prize-winner at the 2022 San Diego 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 has written liner notes for more than a dozen albums, including by jazz sax greats James Moody and Michael Brecker, and contributed two chapters to the book, “Dylan: Disc By Disc.”