Writer, jazz critic

james liska elk river arts and lecturesBorn and raised in Chicago, A. James Liska trained as a classical percussionist at Interlochen Arts Academy, Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music. After working in various jazz and rock bands, he decided to focus on writing about music rather than playing it.

Liska has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, and plied his trade as a reporter and jazz critic for the Los Angeles Daily News, the L.A. Times, DownBeat magazine and Playboy. For three years he was the managing editor of The Hollywood Reporter.

Liska and his family moved to Montana in 1993, and 10 years later he became the chef/owner of an Italian restaurant. From the vantage point of an old man, he is currently writing a blog about music, food and whatever else happens to pop into his head.

Liska can lecture on how one prepares to write by learning careful observational skills, reading a broad range of literature, and developing a sense of critical thinking.


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