George Varga


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

  • Blink-182 tops Pearl Jam on Billboard's 2016 Top 50 Moneymakers list

    Beyoncé,  Guns N' Roses and Bruce Springsteen are the highest-earning music stars on Billboard magazine's Top 50 Moneymakers of 2016 list. Their estimated net incomes last year come out to, respectively, $62.1 million for Beyoncé, $42.3 million for Guns N' Roses and $42.2 million for Springsteen....

  • Jay-Z announces 4:44 concert tour

    Jay-Z announces 4:44 concert tour

    Jay-Z  may still have 99 problems, as he famously rapped in his 2004 hit, but a buzz-worthy new tour isn't one of them. The hip-hop superstar and husband of  Beyoncé  will kick off his 4:44 concert tour Oct. 27 at the  Honda Center  in Anaheim. It will conclude with four more California shows in...

  • Shakira announces El Dorado world tour

    Shakira announces El Dorado world tour

    Hips, and hits, don't lie - Shakira is hitting the road for an extensive international concert trek. Her El Dorado World Tour begins Nov. 17 in Cologne, Germany, and concludes Feb. 9 in Las Vegas. The second-to-last date is a Feb. 9 show at San Diego's Valley View Casino Center, where she last...

  • Maxwell gets candid about music longevity

    Maxwell gets candid about music longevity

    At the age of 44, neo-soul star Maxwell seems too young to be bridging many generation gaps. But that's exactly what this Brooklyn-born vocal dynamo is doing, as his audiences attest at each stop on his current concert tour. "I call out the decades each night onstage - '50s. '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s...

  • CRSSD Festival announces fall 2017 lineup

    Chromeo, Australia's RÜFÜS DU SOL, Cut Copy and Richie Hawtin head the lineup for the 2017 fall edition of CRSSD Festival at San Diego's Waterfront Park on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. They are among the first 42 acts confirmed to perform at the sixth edition of the proudly edgy electronic music marathon,...

  • Def Leppard back on tour and set for new round of 'Hysteria'

    Def Leppard back on tour and set for new round of 'Hysteria'

    Def Leppard is celebrating two major anniversaries this summer. The hard-rocking English band was launched 40 years ago. Its fourth album "Hysteria" - three years in the making - was released 30 years ago. Buoyed by such hits as "Pour Some Sugar On Me," it sold 12 million copies in the U.S. alone...

  • KAABOO Del Mar releases comedy lineup

    KAABOO Del Mar releases comedy lineup

    Patton Oswalt, David Spade , and Sebastian Maniscalco head the list of confirmed acts for KAABOO Del Mar's 2017 "Humor Me" comedy lineup. Also booked to appear at the festival, which takes place Sept. 15-17, are former TV host Arsenio Hall, "Saturday Night Live" alum Norm MacDonald and Nick Swardson...

  • The ultimate guide to the San Diego summer concert season

    The ultimate guide to the San Diego summer concert season

    It's no illusion. If it seems like there are more concerts and music festivals set to take place this summer than ever before, there are. This holds true both nationally and in San Diego. Our annual summer concert guide has grown exponentially since last year, reflecting a jump in both the number...