Kevin Whitehead

Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Currently he reviews for The Audio Beat and Point of Departure.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film (2020), Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

Whitehead has taught at Towson University, the University of Kansas and Goucher College. He lives near Baltimore.

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This is FRESH AIR. Earlier this year, South African composer and pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, once known as Dollar Brand, was enlisted into the ranks of NEA Jazz Masters. He also has a new album out. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says the new album shows off some of what makes Abdullah Ibrahim great.

(SOUNDBITE OF ABDULLAH IBRAHIM'S "THE BALANCE")

Mark Stryker covered jazz and its people for the Detroit Free Press for decades. He uses his reporter's eye and critic's ear to chronicle the musicians from the city who made their mark on the world.

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This is FRESH AIR. As 2018 winds down, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead remembers a few musicians who died this year who looked at jazz from a broad perspective. We start with three trumpet players.

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