John Szwed is Professor of Music and Jazz Studies at Columbia University, Editor-in-Chief of the web site JazzStudiesOnline.org, and Acting Director of the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University.
Szwed has received fellowships from the John M. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and was awarded a Grammy in 2005 for Doctor Jazz, a book included with Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings by Alan Lomax on Rounder Records. He has authored or edited 15 books, and as a journalist has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wire, and many other publications in the US and Europe. From 1979 to 1999 he wrote for the Village Voice.
Szwed has produced several recordings and has appeared in a number of documentaries and television specials. From 1980 to 1982 he was the music commentator on Terry Gross' Fresh Air on NPR, and from 1993 to 2003 he was president of Brilliant Corners, a non-profit music production company located in New York City. He is currently General Editor of the Jazz Perspectives Book Series for The University of Michigan Press.