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
"Other" means. . .
cultural organizer and musician
website/blog URL 2
Follow me on Twitter at:
I am the author/producer of
'Night People & Other Tales of Working New York' book
I am also the author/ producer of:
The annual Dissident Arts Festival, NYC
Available at (URL or ISBN #2)
My interests in jazz are:
As a writer as well as a musician who still gets to perform on the free jazz and avant garde NYC scene, I have an inner view of the music and the musicians. 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, cultural organizer and performer as well as the founder of New Masses Media, an independent PR and concert production company. He is currently writing the authorized biography of poet/activist Amina Baraka and slowly working on his first novel. Pietaro is the author of “On the Creative Front: Essays on the Culture of Liberation” (2017/under review for publication) as well as the 2013 self-published proletarian fiction collection, “Night People and Other Tales of Working New York”. Other credits include a chapter in Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar’s “SDS: A Graphic History” (Hill & Wang 2007); he is currently working on a novel. A Staff Writer of the NYC Jazz Record newspaper, Pietaro has also written for Z, the Nation, CounterPunch, the Wire (UK), People's World, the Industrial Worker, Struggle (UK) and many other progressive and arts journals. Pietaro was a guest speaker at Left Forum 2012, 2015-17; the Vision Festival 2015; Workers Unite Film Festival 2014. His portfolio of both journalism and PR/copywriting work is accessible via www.johnpietaro.wordpress.com.

Creative writing, in all its forms, is a core of Pietaro’s work; a primary influence remains the revolutionary literature of the 1910s-60s, the novels, poetry, theatre works, reportage and screenplays that forged a new day. Poets and authors of the punk rock movement are also an inspiration.

On the communications front, Pietaro has served as Communications Manager of internationally lauded sports massage center Physical Advantage PC (www.PhysicalAdvantagePC.com) since 2006, as well as its feminist-based radio program, ‘She’s Raising the Bar’. Independently, he’s been engaged as Publicist for a variety of underground jazz artists and events.
Pietaro produces the annual Dissident Arts Festival (founded 2006) and curates the performance series New Masses Nights, among other events. As a percussionist and spoken word artist, he has performed with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Amina Baraka, Karl Berger’s Improvisers Orchestra, Erika Dagnino and Ras Moshe and many more. He also leads the spoken word/improvisational music ensemble the Red Microphone which collaborates with Ms. Baraka in performance and recording (‘Amina Baraka & the Red Microphone’, ESP-Disk, 2017).
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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