Past Event

A Year in Jazz with Nate Chinen

How has the jazz world changed in 2017? What trends are we seeing and hearing in the music? And what artists should we be listening to right now? Host Nate Chinen, Director of Editorial Content at WBGO and former New York Times jazz critic, moderates a panel of leading music critics to explore these questions and more in our annual roundtable.

Our panel includes:
Giovanni Russonello, New York Times jazz critic
Michelle Mercer, author and contributor to NPR, the Wall St. Journal and New York Times.
Eugene Holley, Jr., writer, radio producer and critic who contributes to Downbeat, Publisher’s Weekly, and WNYC.

Meet the Guests:

Nate Chinen joined WBGO as the Director of Editorial Content at the start of 2017. In addition to overseeing a range of coverage at, he works closely with programs including Jazz Night in America and The Checkout, and contributes to a range of jazz programming on NPR. Before joining the WBGO team. Chinen spent nearly a dozen years as a jazz and pop critic for the New York Times and was a columnist for JazzTimes. He is a ten-time winner of the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association.

Giovanni Russonello is a music critic at the New York Times focusing on jazz and improvised music, and the founding editor of CapitalBop. He also writes the Times’ “Best of Late Night” column. Before that, he covered the 2016 presidential election as a member of the Times’ news surveys team. His writing has appeared in the Washington Post, NPR Music, JazzTimes, The FADER, DownBeat and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, among others. For almost three years he hosted “On the Margin,” a weekly books show on WPFW-FM in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history.

Michelle Mercer: In addition to presenting regular music commentaries on NPR’s All Things Considered, Michelle Mercer is the author of Footprints: The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter and Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell’s Blue Period. She’s a featured Hot Box reviewer for DownBeat, and her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Village Voice and numerous magazines. Michelle has won fellowships and residencies around the world, and has reported on art, music, and culture from 15 countries. She holds an MFA in Literature and Writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Eugene Holley, Jr. writes about jazz and culture for Down BeatPublishers WeeklyHot HouseNew Music Box, Chamber Music, and Playbill. His work has appeared in The Village VoiceNPR: A Blog SupremeVibeWax Poetics, and The New York Times Book Review.  His writings are included in three books: Writing Music: A Bedford Spotlight ReaderAlbert Murray and the Aesthetic Imagination of a Nation, and Best Music Writing: 2010. He was the Program Director of WCLK-FM, Clark-Atlanta University, a freelance arts reporter/producer for NPR and co-produced two radio documentaries: Dizzy’s Diamonds and The Duke Ellington Radio Project. His latest liner notes are for the Sunnyside Records reissue, Shorter by Two: The Music of Wayne Shorter Played on Two Pianos by Kirk Lightsey and Harold Danko. He studied sociology and broadcast production at Howard University.