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Jazz Times
Former editorsIra Davidson Sabin & Lee C. Mergner
CategoriesMusic magazine
Frequency10 per year
FounderIra Davidson Sabin
CompanyTitles JCMC, LLC
CountryUnited States
Based inCambridge, Massachusetts

JazzTimes was an American print magazine devoted to jazz. Published 10 times a year, it was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1970 by Ira Sabin[1][2][3] as the newsletter Radio Free Jazz to complement his record store.[4]


After a decade of growth in subscriptions, deepening of writer pools, and internationalization, Radio Free Jazz expanded its focus and, at the suggestion of jazz critic Leonard Feather, changed its name to JazzTimes in 1980.[5]

Sabin's Glenn joined the magazine staff in 1984. In 1990, JazzTimes incorporated exclusive cover photography and higher quality art and graphic design. The magazine reviews audio and video releases[6] concerts,[7] instruments, music supplies,[8] and books.[9] It also includes a guide to musicians, events, record labels, and music schools.

David Fricke, whose writing credits include Rolling Stone, Melody Maker and Mojo, also contributes to the magazine.[10]

Web traffic[edit]

JazzTimes.com was redesigned in 2019. Among its most popular stories are the JazzTimes10, which look at the "Top 10" of a specific categories of jazz, from Christmas songs to tunes from the Loft Jazz era. Also popular are its annual critics and readers polls of the top artists, albums and songs in jazz. JazzTimes.com's most successful month was in February 2015, when it registered more than half a million pageviews. In 2019, it registered 3,736,397 pageviews with 65% of its traffic direct and a quarter of it from organic search.

Ownership and management[edit]

Guthrie Inc. was the founding company of the magazine and suspended JazzTimes in June 2009.[11] Later that year, JazzTimes was acquired by Madavor Media, LLC,[1] a Delaware company based in Quincy, Massachusetts (Jeffrey C. Wolk, Chairman and CEO; born 1966).

Madavor Media relaunched the magazine the same year.[11] Lee C. Mergner — who was Associate Publisher of JazzTimes from as early as 1994 till sometime after September 1999 — became publisher as early as 2001. Glenn D. Sabin (born 1963), one of Ira's sons, was the publisher when the magazine was sold in 2009, and Jeffrey H. Sabin (born 1961), Ira's other son, was general manager at the time. Mac Randall was named editor in chief in 2018 after longtime editor Evan Haga stepped[12] down from his role. Mergner remains a part-time employee for JazzTimes.[13]

On February 15, 2023, Madavor Media was acquired by The BeBop Channel Corporation, a public company under the ticker symbol BBOP and headed up by jazz musician and interim CEO Gregory Charles Royal.[14] Royal's tenure with JazzTimes was marked by a change in editorial directionbefore ultimately ceasing physical printing of the magazine. Royal believed the publication had existed in an "insular bubble for decades — a magazine seemingly written for the consumption and from the perspective of white journalists".[15] Royal also transitioned the print publication to The BeBop Channel Television Network as JazzTimes Television in September 2023 to focus on presenting JazzTimes as a video programmed format. [16] Royal's efforts as an editor were subjected to widespread criticism on the social media platform X and mockery for grammatical errors, historical errors, a confrontational tone, and a perceived decline in editorial integrity. [17] Particular criticism was leveled at Royal for his use of the magazine to promote his own projects. [18]

JazzTimes was transferred to Titles JCMJ, LLC, a Massachusetts limited liability company on February 29, 2024.[19]


  1. ^ a b Chesto, Jon (July 16, 2009). "Quincy Company Rescues JazzTimes With Acquisition". Patriot Ledger, The. Quincy, Massachusetts. Retrieved February 20, 2021.LCCN sn89062494 (publication), ISSN 0889-2253 (online version).
  2. ^ Schudel, Matthew James (September 13, 2018). "Ira Sabin, D.C. Record-Store Owner, Founder of JazzTimes Magazine, Dies at 90 – After working as a drummer, Mr. Sabin opened one of the country's premier jazz record stores, then launched a magazine". Obituaries. Washington Post, The. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ISSN 2641-9599, ProQuest 2103429099 (U.S. Newsstream database).
  3. ^ Sandomir, Richard (September 18, 2018). "Ira Sabin, Founder of JazzTimes Magazine, Is Dead at 90". New York Times, The. Vol. 167, no. 85089 (Print ed.). p. A21. Retrieved April 20, 2021. ISSN 0362-4331 (publication), EBSCOhost 131822420 (article).
  4. ^ Sabin, Ira (September 1995). "From the Founder". JazzTimes. pp. 14–.
  5. ^ "Leonard Feather 1914–1994". JazzTimes. December 1994. pp. 18–.
  6. ^ "Reviews Archive". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  7. ^ "Live Archives". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  8. ^ "Products & Gear Archives". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  9. ^ "Books Archives". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  10. ^ "David Fricke". JazzTimes. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Jason Fell (July 14, 2009). "Jazz Times to Play Again". Folio. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  12. ^ "JT Notes: JazzTimes' Editor Evan Haga Bids Farewell".
  13. ^ Mergner, Lee. "My Opening Farewell by Lee Mergner". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2020-02-10.
  14. ^ "'BeBop' Acquires Madavor Media – JazzTimes, Outdoor Photographer and Other Leading Media Properties". OTC Markets. Retrieved 2023-02-16.
  15. ^ "JazzTimes and the White Critics: New ownership has a scorched-earth policy. So who's getting burned?". 15 April 2023.
  16. ^ "JazzTimes and the White Critics: New ownership has a scorched-earth policy. So who's getting burned?". 15 April 2023.
  17. ^ "Andrew Gilbert discusses the changes at JazzTIMES with James Gavin & John Murph, part 2". 1 August 2023.
  18. ^ "In his 3rd tweet as owner, Gregory Charles Royal of JazzTimes is using the platform to promote HIMSELF, his own work and family. In today's world, that tracks. But still, this is such a betrayal of the readership and the jazz community". 12 March 2023.
  19. ^ "Termination of Material Definitive Agreement". 29 February 2024.

External links[edit]