Jazz Journalists Association
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John Pietaro


Member profile details

Membership level
Jazz Journalist (professional- voting member)
First name
Last name
I am a jazz
  • writer
  • other
"Other" means. . .
cultural organizer and musician
website/blog URL 2
Follow me on Twitter at:
I am the author/producer of
'Night People & Other Tales of Working New York' book
I am also the author/ producer of:
The annual Dissident Arts Festival, NYC
Available at (URL or ISBN #2)
My interests in jazz are:
As a writer as well as a musician who still gets to perform on the free jazz and avant garde NYC scene, I have an inner view of the music and the musicians. Much of this music's roots are tied to revolutionary movements that need to be embraced and the goals of same need to be cultivated as parts of all struggles for progressive social change. Beyond this, the full spectrum of jazz in history appeals to my need for adventure and invention: the improvisational core carried by the force of swing constantly recreates the music in a way no other genre can muster
More about what I do:
Writing has been a passion my entire life and was my first career goal (as early as the third grade and I'm now well into middle age). However playing music, especially jazz, brought me to study this formally as a young adult; I hold an MA in Music Education/Performance. I have since returned to school many years later to study Communications and Media, finally seeking out some formal training in this area. But the art of writing has always been a force in my life. Current work: Staff Writer, "NYC JAZZ RECORD"; independent author, various political and arts magazines. Books in progress: "ON THE CREATIVE FRONT: ESSAYS ON THE CULTURE OF LIBERATION' and a novel "OF SECONDS AND SHADOWS".

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: I am a percussionist who plays hand drums, drumset, vibraphone, xylophone, frame drums, various percussives, voice.
Performance and/or recordings with Amina Baraka (Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone, ESP-Disk 2017), Matt Lavelle's 12 Houses, The Red Microphone, Harmolodic Monk, Karl Berger's Improvisers Orchestra, Ras Moshe, and others.
CULTURAL ORGANIZER: Founder/producer/host of the annual "Dissident Arts Festival". I have also spoken at and performed music at Left Forum 2012 and 2015-17.
See www.DissidentArts.com for more info
I support the JJA because
This music needs to have a real sense of community: it was born of struggle, was matured through social and political fights for justice, and expands on the very notion of liberty--both individual and sonic. But jazz stands out as a symbol of the power of the collective as well, thus it is greatly powerful. The journalists who write about the musicians and the times in which the music is made, should have a forum so that listeners can experience all that makes jazz a visceral art. And once that forum is inclusive of performers, composers, producers and fans, the communications goes in every direction. Thanks to Howard Mandel and co for conceiving of this organization---and the very need to have it.
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