illustration by Na Kim


Ben Ratliff: b. New York City 1968; raised in New York, London, and Rockland County, NY.  B.A. in Classics, Columbia College, 1990. Lives in Bronx, NY.

Jazz and pop critic for the New York Times 1996-2016.   Author of four books: Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty (2016); The Jazz Ear: Conversations Over Music (2008); Coltrane: The Story of a Sound (2007, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award); and Jazz: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings (2002).

Other writing for New York Review of Books, Esquire, NPRSlate, PitchforkRolling Stone, 4Columns, Spin, Lingua Franca, Guardian, Metropolis, Village Voice, Coda, Option, Granta, Bookforum, Jazz Times, Wire.

Regular host of the New York Times Popcast from 2012 to 2016.

Teaches cultural criticism at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.