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Tony Gieske, Former Jazz Reviewer for The Hollywood Reporter, Dies at 82

The newspaper veteran worked at THR from 1990 to 2008 and reviewed countless shows, often taking the wonderful photographs that accompanied his words.

Tony Gieske, a top-notch jazz reviewer/historian, photographer and copy editor at The Hollywood Reporter for almost two decades, died Saturday at his home in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 82.

Gieske, who was in the newspaper business since age 16, worked for 11 major daily newspapers, including the Washington Post, New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, before he joined THR in 1990.

Most recently, he was a reviewer and photographer for The International Review of Music website.

At the Post, where he worked from 1955 to 1962, Gieske was among the first newspaper writers to interview jazz legends John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk, among many others.

A devotee of Dizzy Gillespie, Gieske, who played the cornet, reviewed hundreds of jazz shows for THR – including the two-day Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl each year – and often took the mesmerizing photos that accompanied his insightful text. He knew how to turn a phrase and was among the leading jazz experts in the nation.

The charming Gieske, who attended Kenyon College and George Washington University, also was one of the best headline writers at THR and expertly handled the “Clips” section in the front of the paper each day.

Survivors include his wife of 36 years, Ticia Perenchio Gieske; daughters Dinah Gieske Swords and Elizabeth Gieske Defeo; stepdaughters Lisa Perenchio and Lynn Hawkins; and grandchildren Maisy and Ruby Swords, Joey and Annie Hawkins, Jemma Defeo and Noel Weihsmantel.

A memorial is being planned for June at his home in Valley Village.

Darah Head contributed to this report.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4