Nate Chinen

Adjunct Instructor

Nate Chinen

NATE CHINEN has been writing about jazz for more than twenty years.

He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As the director of editorial content at WBGO, he works with the multiplatform program Jazz Night in America and contributes a range of coverage to NPR Music.

An eleven-time winner of the Helen Dance–Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association, he is also coauthor of Myself Among Others: A Life in Music, the 2003 autobiography of festival impresario and producer George Wein.

His work appears in Best Music Writing 2011Pop When the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt (Duke University Press, 2012), and Miles Davis: The Complete Illustrated History (Voyageur Press, 2012).

Chinen was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He started his career as a music critic in 1996, at the Philadelphia City Paper. There he covered one of the great jazz cities at ground level, writing a steady stream of reviews and features, along with a biweekly column, The Gig. 

He moved to New York City in 1998, and began writing for a range of publications, including DownBeatBlender and Vibe. For several years he was the jazz critic for Weekend America, a syndicated radio program. He covered jazz for the Village Voice from 2003 through 2005, when he became a regular contributor to The New York Times.

Chinen's closest affiliation with a music periodical has been with JazzTimes, since the turn of the century. In 2004 he revived The Gig as a column for the magazine, where it ran in 125 consecutive installments.

At the beginning of 2017, Chinen became director of editorial content at WBGO, the global leader in jazz radio, broadcasting from Newark. He manages the full spectrum of jazz coverage at; works closely with Jazz Night in America, a multimedia program hosted by Christian McBride; and writes regularly for NPR Music, about jazz and other genres. 

He lives in Beacon, New York, with his wife and two daughters.