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Jazz for Curious Readers
Ted Panken
September 14, 2009

Ted Panken writes feature articles, reviews, and commentary for various print and online music publications, including Downbeat, Jazziz, and, and won the 2007 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for his Downbeat article “Smalls Universe.” He has annotated some 400 compact disk releases, and his work has also appeared in the New York Daily News, the Village Voice, and Tikkun. Between 1985 and 2008, Panken presented jazz and other jazz-related forms of improvised music on New York’s WKCR-FM, where he conducted hundreds of live, in-depth interviews with both established and [then] up-and-coming musicians.

His work at WKCR was integral to his becoming a writer. Musicians he met at the station, for instance Joe Lovano and James Williams, asked him to write liner notes for their recordings. As Panken put it, "word got around," and his career as a writer took off. In addition to the publications mentioned above, he has written program notes for concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center for many years.

A life-long New Yorker, who spent much of the ‘70s in Chicago, he now lives in Brooklyn with his wife, daughter, dog, and cat.

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