Listening Party w/ Nate Chinen
Nate Chinen
FREE for SFJAZZ Members

Listening Party w/ Nate Chinen

Dec 17
Miner Auditorium

For this Listening Party, Randall Kline is joined by eminent jazz writer, critic and broadcaster Nate Chinen, discussing Chinen’s new Pantheon book, Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century.

“Playing changes,” in jazz parlance, has long referred to an improviser’s resourceful path through a chord progression. Playing Changes boldly expands on the idea, highlighting a host of significant changes—ideological, technological, theoretical, and practical—that jazz musicians have learned to navigate since the turn of the century. Nate Chinen, who has chronicled this evolution firsthand throughout his journalistic career, vividly sets the backdrop, charting the origins of jazz historicism and the rise of an institutional framework for the music. He traces the influence of commercialized jazz education and reflects on the implications of a globalized jazz ecology. He unpacks the synergies between jazz and postmillennial hip-hop and R&B, illuminating an emergent rhythm signature for the music. And he shows how a new generation of shape-shifting elders, including Wayne Shorter and Henry Threadgill, have moved the aesthetic center of the music.

Woven throughout the book is a vibrant cast of characters—from the saxophonists Steve Coleman and Kamasi Washington to the pianists Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer to the bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding—who have exerted an important influence on the scene. This is an adaptive new music for a complex new reality, and Playing Changes is the definitive guide. of the essential music books of the young century, so far.

Carl Wilson, Slate

One of the best books of 2018.

GQ Magazine

7:00 PM Complimentary drinks
Grand Lobby & Fisher Family Lobby

7:30 PM Listening Party
Robert N. Miner Auditorium

8:45 PM Complimentary drinks and book signing with Nate Chinen
Fisher Family Lobby

Nate Chinen's book Playing Changes will be available for purchase. There will be a book signing post show, and guests will be given the chance to meet the author.

Nate Chinen joined WBGO as the Director of Editorial Content at the start of 2017. In addition to overseeing a range of coverage at, he works closely with programs including Jazz Night in America and The Checkout, and contributes to a range of jazz programming on NPR. Before joining the WBGO team. Chinen spent nearly a dozen years as a jazz and pop critic for the New York Times. He also wrote a long-running monthly column and assorted features for JazzTimes. He is a ten-time winner of the Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing, presented by the Jazz Journalists Association. The same organization presented him with its award for Best Book About Jazz, for his work on Myself Among Others, the autobiography of impresario George Wein.