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“One of the outstanding music historians in America” will share “The Dangerous History of the Love Song” with Eastern Kentucky University.

Ted Gioia, a music historian, businessman, and jazz musician, will speak on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. His lecture, part of the Chautauqua series themed “Order and Chaos,” will be free and open to the public.       

Gioia is a man of varied interests and talents.  He has enjoyed a recording career as a jazz pianist, helped design a formal jazz studies program at Stanford University, consulted Fortune 500 businesses, and undertaken business projects in 25 countries on five different continents.

Although all of Gioia’s numerous activities and achievements are impressive, he is best known for sharing his passion for jazz – and music history in general – through his prose as an author. His most well-known book is probably “A History of Jazz,” the best-selling survey of jazz published in the past 25 years. It is for his output of music history books that the Dallas Morning News called Gioia “one of the outstanding music historians in America.”

Another of Gioia’s books, “Love Songs: The Hidden History,” is noteworthy as the first book to survey all 5,000 years of the history of love songs. In one of the book’s many positive reviews, the Atlantic Monthly called it “a mind-expanding, deep-focus piece of scholarship.”

Beyond his published books, Gioia’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Popular Music, and other leading websites and periodicals. Currently, he is a columnist for The Daily Beast. He has also recorded many songs with other west coast jazz musicians that have received airplay on over 500 radio stations in the US.

The Gioia lecture is sponsored by the Department of Music and EKU Honors.

For more information about the Chautauqua lecture series, visit or contact Chautauqua Lecture Coordinator Erik Liddell at