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
  • radio/tv program host/producer
"Other" means. . .
cultural organizer and musician
website/blog URL 2
Follow me on Twitter at:
I am the author/producer of
AUTHOR: 'A Bleeding in Black Leather' poetry/fiction collection (2022), 'The Mercer Stands Burning' poetry collection (2021), 'Smoke Rings' poetry chapbook (2019), 'Night People' fiction collection (2015)
Available at (URL or ISBN #1)
I am also the author/ producer of:
PRODUCER: Beneath the Underground radio (wfmu.org/sheena) and Jazz Just After Dark radio (makerparkradio.nyc); ensemble- The Red Microphone "And I Became of the Dark" (ESP-Disk 2021) and "Amina Baraka & the Rec Microphone (ESP-Disk 2017)
Available at (URL or ISBN #2)
Other key Publications/Productions
My interests in jazz are:
As a writer as well as a musician who still performs intermittently on the free jazz and avant garde NYC scene, I have an inner view of the music and the artists. 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:
JOHN PIETARO IS A WRITER, POET, SPOKEN WORD ARTIST AND MUSICIAN FROM BROOKLYN, NY. Columnist/critic of The NYC Jazz Record, Pietaro's latest work is the poetry/fiction collection A Bleeding in Black Leather to be published by Uncollected Press/Raw Art Review in 2022. In late 2020, his The Mercer Stands Burning: Night Poems was published by Atmosphere Press, and in 2019 Pietaro self-published chapbook Smoke Rings. He's a contributing arts reporter to PleaseKillMe, The Wire (UK), Z, Sensitive Skin, AllAboutJazz, The Nation, The Village Sun, Counter Punch, People's World, TruthOut and others.

Other credits include seven entries in the upcoming edition of The Encyclopedia of the American Left (Verso), and poetry or fiction for numerous international anthologies as well as multiple journals. Pietaro also penned contemporary proletarian fiction collection Night People & Other Tales of Working New York (2013) and contributed a chapter to Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar's SDS: A Graphic History (Hill & Wang 2007).

Pietaro directs the Dissident Arts Festival, hosts radio shows 'Beneath the Underground' (WFMU-FM/Sheena's Jungle Room stream starting 4/13/22) and 'Jazz Just After Dark' (makerparkradio.nyc), and fronts post-punk free jazz/poetry ensemble the Red Microphone, recording artists of the ESP-Disk label. The band's heading back into the studio in May 2022 to record a new album, but last, And I Became of the Dark was released in 2021. In 2017 the Red Microphone collaborated with Amina Baraka for the album Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone (ESP-Disk). Ms. Baraka also performed Pietaro's "Her Side of the Road" as a dramatic reading in 2018.

A guest speaker at Left Forum and the Vision Festival, Pietaro has been featured at The International Human Rights Arts Festival 2021, Great Weather for Media's Spoken Word Sundays, People's Music Network Festival 2022, Workers United Film Festival 2016, UpSurge JazzPoetry Festival and other venues. He's collaborated with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Amina Baraka, Karl Berger, Steve Dalachinsky, Nora Guthrie, Erika Dagnino, Ras Moshe, historian Paul Buhle, record producers Ivan Julian and Kramer, among many more.
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.

Member photo albums (1 Album)

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