Music is my passion. Since memory, I've been captivated by rhythm and melody. It's a privilege to channel that passion into words, to interview the creators of some of the most timeless music ever recorded, and to place that music into broader cultural, social, and musical contexts.
As both a music journalist and a liner notes essayist, I've had the pleasure of interviewing hundreds of artists, producers, songwriters, and musicians. I've shared coffee with Paul McCartney and shot pool with Janelle Monáe. I've sat in the passenger seat as Pete Seeger took the wheel, broken bread with legends of dance (Tom Moulton) and jazz (Jimmy Scott), and marveled as Ruth Pointer gave me a personal tour of The Pointer Sisters' many platinum records and Grammy trophies. It would take the space of a book to share the other highlights.
My interviews and features have appeared, primarily, on PopMatters, where I've been a Contributing Editor since 2007. In 2009, I wrote a 50,000-word oral history about Casablanca Records that was published on PopMatters, which then led to my work in writing liner notes. Since 2010, I've penned more than 200 liner notes essays for re-issues of classic soul, pop, jazz, funk, and disco. My words trace more than five decades of music.
Photo top right: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo
Photo bottom left (hosting The Soulfolk Experience at Iridium) by Colleen Rubino
Beyond writing, I've explored my passion for music through a variety of other outlets, including concert production, radio, public speaking, and education, including live interviews that I've curated and conducted at the Apollo Theater that feature legends like Dionne Warwick and Melba Moore (2016), Mary Wilson of the Supremes (2017), and a panel discussion called Bold Soul Sisters: A Revolution of Sound & Style (2015) that featured Nona Hendryx, Ruth Pointer, Kathy Sledge, and Rochelle Fleming. Most recently, I interviewed Carlos Alomar and Robin Clark at the Brooklyn Museum before a SOLD OUT audience of 400+ about "The Soulfulness of David Bowie" (2018), the closing day event of "David Bowie is." Currently, I'm the host and curator of "Sound Bites," a monthly Q&A series live-streamed from Joe's Pub at the Public Theater.
Between 2008 and 2015, I produced and hosted an annual benefit at Joe's Pub called Three of Hearts, which raised money for a NYC-based organization called The Family Center. In 2009-2010, I worked on the HopeStock / UnFiltered Music Series with Nona Hendryx. The series featured new and emerging acts at NYC venues like Merkin Hall, S.O.B.'s, and Galapagos Art Space and Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY. I helped select, book, and promote a number of acts for the series, including Maya Azucena, JOHNNYSWIM, Russell Taylor, Mutlu, Maiysha, Res, Beth Arentsen, ILLspokiNN, and MuthaWit. The following year, I hosted a weekly radio show called The Flying Perfect Parlor on WRFB Radio Free Brooklyn. In between, I booked acts at Wölffer Estate Vineyard on Long Island for their seasonal "Candlelight Fridays" and "Twilight Thursdays" concert series.
Elsewhere, I've presented at Barnard College, the EMP (Experience Music Project) Conference, and NYU Steinhardt, hosted concerts at The Blue Note, Joe's Pub at the Public, and Iridium Jazz Club, conducted artist interviews for BBC Radio documentaries, guest-hosted SiriusXM's Marc & Myra Show and WBAI 99.5 FM's The Sweet Spot, and appeared on the nationally syndicated The Song Is You with Bonnie Grice. I've also been invited to speak on music industry panels, including "Master Class" workshops led by Nona Hendryx and Janice Pendarvis at the Apollo Theater. I am currently a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS) and voting member of the former Dance Music Hall of Fame (2005).
Where will you see or hear from me next? The News page is regularly updated with announcements about my recent and upcoming appearances, plus links to new essays and feature articles. Would you like to contact me for a writing project, a public speaking engagement, an interview, or consulting work for books and documentaries? Please visit my Contact page to get in touch with me.