Gary Giddins speaking at a conference of the American Library Association in Chicago in July, 2009.
Gary Giddins (born March 21, 1948) is an American jazz critic, author, and director, best known for his longtime work with The Village Voice. Born in Brooklyn, and raised on Long Island, Giddins graduated from Grinnell College, Iowa, in 1970. After some freelance work as a music and film critic, in 1974 he started writing his column "Weather Bird" for the Village Voice, which he ended in December 2003. In 1986 Gary Giddins and John Lewis created the American Jazz Orchestra which presented concerts using a jazz repertory with musicians such as Tony Bennett.
Giddins has received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, and the Bell Atlantic Award for Visions of Jazz: The First Century in 1998. His other books include Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams—The Early Years, 1903–1940, which won the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award and the ARSC Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research; Weatherbird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century; Faces in the Crowd; Natural Selection; and biographies of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker. He has won six ASCAP–Deems Taylor Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Peabody Award in Broadcasting. He is the Executive Director of the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.