Leonard Feather Collection, IJC - International Jazz Collections

Journalist and Critic

Leonard Feather, W.C. Handy, Dizzy Gillespie, and Irma Handy

(L to R) Leonard Feather, W.C. Handy, Dizzy Gillespie, and Irma Handy

Feather is best known as a jazz journalist and critic. He wrote throughout his life for a wide variety of publications, including Downbeat and Esquire, before moving to California and becoming a regular jazz columnist for The Los Angeles Times. His column for The Times was syndicated to over 500 newspapers. His reports of blindfold tests, in which participants gave their opinions of music after listening blindfolded to a performance, helped to dispel many misconceptions related to race and gender, or even the notion that studio men were not capable of improvising.



  • Feather, Leonard G. The Jazz Years: Earwitness to an Era. New York: Da Capo Press, 1987.
  • Kernfeld, Barry, ed. The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. St. Martin's Press, 1994.
  • Larkin, Colin, ed. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 3rd ed. London: Muze, 1998.
  • New York Times articles. http://www.nytimes.com

Bringing the world to Idaho ... and Idaho to the world. Give to the Library.