Ted Gioia (born October 21, 1957) is an American jazz critic and music historian. He is author of eleven books, including Music: A Subversive History, The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire, The History of Jazz and Delta Blues. He is also a jazz musician and one of the founders of Stanford University's jazz studies program.[1][2][3][4][5]

Ted Gioia
Ted Gioia in 1991 in the main quad of Stanford University
Ted Gioia in 1991 in the main quad of Stanford University
Born (1957-10-21) October 21, 1957 (age 66)
Hawthorne, California, U.S.
OccupationMusic historian, writer
Alma mater
Notable works
  • The Birth (and Death) of the Cool (2009)
  • Work Songs (2006)
  • Healing Songs (2006)
  • Love Songs: The Hidden History (2015)
RelativesDana Gioia (brother)
www.tedgioia.com Edit this at Wikidata

Early life and education


Gioia grew up in an Italian-Mexican household in Hawthorne, California, and later earned degrees from Stanford University and the University of Oxford, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.[6]



After graduating, Gioia served for a period[clarification needed] as an adviser to Fortune 500 companies while with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company. When Gioia worked amidst Silicon Valley's venture capital community on Sand Hill Road, he was known as the "guy with the piano in his office."[7] Gioia is also owner of one of the largest collections of research materials on jazz and ethnic music in the Western United States.

Gioia is the author of several books on music, including Music: A Subversive History (2019), West Coast Jazz (1992), The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire (2012), and The Birth (and Death) of the Cool (2009). A second updated and expanded edition of The History of Jazz was published by Oxford University Press in 2011, and a third revised edition was issued in 2021.[8] Love Songs: The Hidden History, published by Oxford University Press in 2015, is a survey of the music of courtship, romance, and sexuality;[9] it completes a trilogy of books on the social history of music that includes Work Songs (2006) and Healing Songs (2006). All three books have been honored with ASCAP's Deems Taylor Award.[10][11] In his study of love songs, Gioia contends that innovations in the history of this music came from Africa and the Middle East.[12]

In 2006, Gioia was the first to expose, in an article in the Los Angeles Times, the FBI files on folk and roots music icon Alan Lomax.[13] He founded the website jazz.com in December 2007 and served as president and editor until 2010.[14]

Gioia is also a jazz pianist and composer. He has produced recordings featuring Bobby Hutcherson, John Handy, and Buddy Montgomery.



Selected discography

  • The End of the Open Road, Ted Gioia Trio, Quartet Records Q1001 (1988); OCLC 32182337
Recorded June 9–11, 1986, and October 19, 1987, Menlo Park, California
  • Tango Cool, Ted Gioia Trio, Quartet Record QCD1006 (1990); OCLC 23948930
Recorded March 31, 1989, and April 7, 1990, San Francisco
  • The City is a Chinese Vase (1998)

Awards and honors


Lifetime Achievement Award in Jazz Journalism, Jazz Journalists Association, 2017.[31]

The Dallas Morning News has called Ted Gioia "one of the outstanding music historians in America." His concept of "post-cool" described in his book The Birth (and Death) of the Cool, was selected as one of the Big Ideas of 2012 by Adbusters magazine.[32]

ASCAP Deems Taylor Award: The Imperfect Art (1989), Work Songs (2006), Healing Songs (2006), Love Songs: The Hidden History (2015).[32]

Personal life


Gioia is the brother of poet Dana Gioia.[33][34]


  1. ^ Contemporary Authors, Gale Group; ISSN 0887-3070
        Vol.  127 (1989); OCLC 35395922
        Vol.  86, new edition (2000); OCLC 43697091
  2. ^ The International Authors and Writers Who's Who (12th edn), Ernest Kay (ed.), International Biographical Centre (1991); OCLC 59895267
  3. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd edn) (Gioia is in Vol. 2 of 3), Barry Dean Kernfeld (ed.), Macmillan Publishers (2002); OCLC 46956628.
  4. ^ Who's Who in Entertainment (3rd edn, 1998–1999), Marquis Who's Who (1997); OCLC 54303731
  5. ^ Who's Who in the West, Marquis Who's Who; OCLC 0896-7709
        24th edn, 1994–1995 (1993); OCLC 30525324
        25th edn, 1996–1997 (1995); OCLC 33938880
  6. ^ Perell, David (2024). "Addicted to Distraction with Ted Gioia on the How I Write Podcast". apple.com.
  7. ^ Michael Hoinski, "Come On Feel the Noise", Texas Monthly, September 2016.
  8. ^ Weiner, Natalie, "Re-Revising The History Of Jazz", NPR.org, July 15, 2021 (includes an interview with author Gioia)
  9. ^ Love Songs: The Hidden History, by Ted Gioia, at Penn State University Libraries
  10. ^ "40th Annual ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards Presented", ASCAPFoundation.org, October 15, 2007
  11. ^ "48th Annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award Winners", ASCAPFoundation.org, November 8, 2016
  12. ^ Ted Gioia, "Was the Love Song Invented in Africa and the Middle East", The Daily Beast, February 8, 2015.
  13. ^ Gioia, Ted, "The Red Rumor Blues," Los Angeles Times, April 23, 2006
  14. ^ "Ted Gioia".
  15. ^ OCLC 1083153301 [ISBN missing]
  16. ^ Oxford University Press (2012); OCLC 820009853 [ISBN missing]
  17. ^ "Notable Books of the Year 1998", The New York Times, December 6, 1998.
  18. ^ 1st edn (1997); OCLC 36245922 [ISBN missing]
  19. ^ 2nd edn (2011); OCLC 734057336 [ISBN missing]
  20. ^ 3rd edn (2021); OCLC 1232214968 [ISBN missing]
  21. ^ Basic Books (2016); OCLC 921864226 [ISBN missing]
  22. ^ Speck Press (2009); OCLC 318875640 [ISBN missing]
  23. ^ Norton (2008); OCLC 212893669 [ISBN missing]
  24. ^ "100 Notable Books of 2008", The New York Times, November 26, 2008.
  25. ^ Oxford University Press 1st edn (1992); OCLC 24009620 [ISBN missing]
  26. ^ 2nd edn (1998); OCLC 38747512 [ISBN missing]
  27. ^ Oxford University Press (1988); OCLC 17327524 [ISBN missing]
  28. ^ Oxford University Press (2015); OCLC 880349805, 906023459 [ISBN missing]
  29. ^ Duke University Press (2006); OCLC 61478791 [ISBN missing]
  30. ^ Duke University Press (2006); OCLC 63702993 [ISBN missing]
  31. ^ "Wadada Leo Smith Among Winners of 2017 JJA Awards". DownBeat Magazine. May 16, 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Post-Cool," Archived February 4, 2013, at the Wayback Machine by Ted Gioia, Adbusters, December 15, 2011.
  33. ^ Cynthia Haven, "Changing His Tune", Stanford Alumni Association News, 2007.
  34. ^ Barbara Ries, "Poet Provocateur", The Stanford Magazine, July/August 2000; ISSN 0745-3981