Ted Gioia:  Bio

Ted Gioia is a musician and author, and has published eight non-fiction
books, most recently the bestselling
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the
Repertoire, published by Oxford University Press in July 2012.  His The
History of Jazz was selected as one of the twenty best books of the year
by Jonathan Yardley in
The Washington Post, and was chosen as a
notable book of the year in
The New York Times.  Gioia’s 2008 book
Delta Blues, published by W.W. Norton, was also selected by The New
York Times
as one of the 100 most notable of the year, and was picked
as one of the best books of the year by
The Economist.

Gioia has been called "one of the outstanding music historians in
America" by the
Dallas Morning News.  In 2006, Gioia published two
books simultaneously,
Work Songs and Healing Songs, the result of
more a decade of research into traditional music, and both works were
honored with a special ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award.  Gioia has also
written extensively on popular culture, most notably in his 2009 book
The Birth (and the Death) of Cool
, a work of cultural criticism and a
historical survey of hipness—his concept of
post-cool, outlined in this
work, was highlighted as one of the "ideas of the year" by
"The prose is so strong, simple and evocative that it brings the reader
almost to tears with longing,"
The Washington Post has written of this
book. "It will force you to think about making connections you haven't
made before.”

From 2007 until 2010, Gioia served as founding president, editor and
resident blogger for www.jazz.com, a popular web music media portal.  In
addition, Gioia's writings have appeared in
The New York Times, the Los
Angeles Times
, Salon, American Scholar, Hudson Review, and the San
Francisco Chronicle
, among other publications.  

Gioia was raised in a Sicilian-Mexican household in Hawthorne,
California, a working class neighborhood in the South-Central area of
Los Angeles.   Gioia was valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar at
Hawthorne High School, and attended Stanford University.  There he
received a degree in English (graduating with honors and distinction),
served as editor of Stanford’s literary magazine,
Sequoia, and wrote
regularly for the
Stanford Daily.  He was a member of Stanford’s College
Bowl team, which was featured on television, and defeated Yale in the
national finals.  Gioia also worked extensively as a jazz pianist during this
period, and designed and taught a class on jazz at Stanford while still an

After graduation, Gioia received a degree in Philosophy, Politics and
Economics at Oxford University, where he graduated with first class
honors. He then received an MBA from Stanford University.  

Gioia has enjoyed successes in the worlds of music, writing and
business. In the business world, Gioia has consulted to Fortune 500
companies while working for McKinsey and the Boston Consulting
Group.  He helped Sola International complete an LBO and IPO on the
New York Stock Exchange in the 1990s.  He has undertaken business
projects in 25 countries on five continents, and has managed large
businesses (up to $200 million in revenues).

But Gioia is best known for his activities in the jazz world.  He worked with
Stanford's Department of Music in the 1980s to establish a formal jazz
studies program, and served on the faculty alongside artist-in-residence
Stan Getz, for several years. Around this time, Gioia's first book was
published by Oxford University Press,
The  Imperfect Art, which was
awarded the ASCAP-Deems Taylor award and was named a “Jazz Book
of the Century” by Jazz Educators Journal.  Gioia released his first
recording as a jazz pianist a few months later --
The End of the Open
Road, a trio recording with Eddie Moore and Larry Grenadier – and
received airplay on more than 500 radio stations in the US.  Gioia also
produced a series of recordings featuring other West Coast jazz
musicians. Gioia has since recorded two more CDs,
Tango Cool and The
City is a Chinese Vase.

Gioia’s follow-up book for Oxford University Press,
West Coast Jazz, is
frequently acknowledged as one of the classics of the jazz literature.
West Coast Jazz was re-issued in an expanded edition by University of
California Press in 1998 and remains the definitive work on the subject.  
Around this same time, Gioia published
The History of Jazz, which
continues to rank among the best selling jazz books on the market.  A
revised and expanded version of
The History of Jazz was released in

In 2012, Oxford University Press published Gioia's most recent book,
The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire, to great fanfare.  
The book received early praise from Dave Brubeck and Sonny Rollins,
and was lauded by the Wall Street Journal as "the first general-interest,
wide-ranging and authoritative guide to the basic contemporary jazz

Gioia's current interests cover a wide range of areas. He is composing a
series of solo piano pieces that draw both from jazz and classical music
traditions. He also reviews contemporary fiction for various periodicals
and his writing on books can be found at his web sites
greatbooksguide.com, www.fractiousfiction.com, www.thenewcanon.com,
com and www.conceptualfiction.com.

Gioia's latest book
Love Songs: The Hidden History was published by
Oxford University Press on February 10, 2015 It represents the first
complete survey of 5,000 years of the music of romance, courtship and
Ted Gioia can be contacted at

For promotional photos, click
Selected articles by Ted Gioia on the web

The African Origins of the Love Song
The Rise of the Fragmented Novel
My 10 Favorite Novels on Music
The Adventurer's Guide to Finnegans Wake
Notes on Conceptual Fiction
Has Music Criticism Turned Into Lifestyle Reporting?
Vladimir Nabokov, Sci-Fi Writer
If John Coltrane Had Lived
The Backlash Against Jazz
What We've Learned About the NSA
The 8 Memes of the Postmodern Mystery
Why the Fuss About Jonathan Franzen?
Slaves for Love: How Bondage Shaped the Love Song
A Conversation About Jazz with Ted Gioia
The 100 Best Recordings of 2014
The 100 Best Recordings of 2013
The 100 Best Recordings of 2012
The 100 Best Recordings of 2011
The Weirdest 1960s Novel of Them All
Franco: The James Brown of Africa
How Alice Got to Wonderland
The King of Western Swing
Post Cool
The Year of Magical Reading
How to Fix Online Music
A Conversation with Ted Gioia about Love Songs
The Music of the Tango
The Letter That Changed the Course of Modern Lit
Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook
Do Blues Musicians Need to be Really, Really Old?
The Unconventional Sci-Fi of Kurt Vonnegut
Twelve Essential Tango Recordings
Alan Lomax and the FBI
Robert Musil and The Man Without Qualities
A History of Cool Jazz in 100 Tracks
Why Only Revolutions Will Not Be Televised
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
How Music Videos Changed Love Songs
The New Revolt of the Masses
Apple's New Paradigm for Music
Fix-Up Artist: The Chaotic SF of A.E. van Vogt
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium
A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks
The Making of Ulysses
The Great American Novel That Wasn't
In Search of Dupree Bolton
Gulliver's Travels and the Birth of Genre Fiction
Where Did Our Revolution Go?
The Many Lives of James Joyce
The Complex Gender History of the Love Song
William Gaddis's The Recognitions
5 Lessons the Music Biz Can Learn from TV
Hipsters: The New Scapegoats
12 Memorable Works of Hispanic Fiction
Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice
The Alt Reality Nobel Prize
Don DeLillo's Underworld
Milton Nascimento: 12 Essential Tracks
When Science Fiction Grew Up
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Curse You, Neil Armstrong!
Bill Evans: 12 Essential Tracks
Early Vintage Wynton Marsalis
Remembering Cordwainer Smith
My Favorite American Novel
Q&A with Ted Gioia
The Jazz Pianist JFK Saved
A Look Back at Martin Gardner
Robert Heinlein at One Hundred
The Fourteen Skies of Michael Chabon
Is Bird Dead?
Philip K. Dick's VALIS
Why Lester Young Matters
Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire
Who is Grace Kelly?
Italo Calvino's Winter's NIght
Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude
Could Chet Baker Play Jazz?
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
The Jazzy Side of Frank Zappa
Fritz Leiber at 100
Günter Grass's The Tin Drum
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
Harlem Jazz: 12 Essential Tracks
Mark Z. Danielweski's House of Leaves
The Postmodern Mystery: 50 Essential Works
Art Tatum at 100: 12 Essential Tracks
Fringe Guitar
J.G. Ballard's Crash
Interview with Dana and Ted Gioia
The Puzzling Case of Robert Sheckley
Robert Johnson and the Devil
Fear and Self-Loathing in Scandinavia
Herbie Hancock: 12 Essential Tracks
Remembering Drums of Passion
Keith Jarrett: 12 Essential Tracks
In Defense of The Hobbit
Brad Mehldau: 12 Essential Tracks
David Foster Wallace's The Pale King
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz
Assessing Brad Mehldau at Mid-Career
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones
Lennie Tristano: 12 Essential Tracks
Virginia Woolf's Orlando
Why Cool is Dead
A Tribute to Richard Matheson
Denny Zeitlin on Mosaic
The Chronicles of Narnia
Tito Puente: The Complete 78s (1949-1955)
Toni Morrison's Beloved
The Tragedy of Richard Twardzik
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue
The Science Fiction of Samuel Delany
Can Tarzan Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
Ian McEwan's Atonement
Can a Dictionary be a Novel?
New Details About the Young William Gaddis
Interview with Ted Gioia (on Delta Blues)
William Gaddis's JR
Roberto Bolaño's 2666
Talking to Myself About the State of Jazz
Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
Italo Calvino's Neglected Sci-Fi Masterpiece
Philip Roth's American Pastoral
Ken Kesey's Novel-in-a-Box
How I Learned I Was a Jazz Fan