Allen Morrison is a music journalist, jazz critic, educator, and musician who has interviewed and profiled many of today’s leading figures in jazz and pop. The list includes Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Jon Batiste, Bobby McFerrin, Chick Corea, Donald Fagen, Paul Simon, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, and many others. As a regular contributor to the jazz magazines DownBeat and Jazz Times, he has covered music festivals around the world, including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Toronto Jazz Festival, and the MIMO Festival in Brazil. He has also written about music for The Guardian, Jazziz, Departures, and American Songwriter. Allen’s lectures on jazz history have been featured aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, as part of the Cunard Insights lecture series, as well as at public libraries and other venues.
Allen combines his musical knowledge with a broad background in writing, public relations and executive communications in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. During his career Allen has been a magazine editor, a music critic, a music publicist for major recording artists, a government spokesman, and a communications director for politicians and major government agencies.
As a music publicist, he has created promotional materials and handled tour press for such major recording artists as The Chieftains, Ry Cooder, Dr. John, Trombone Shorty, Mavis Staples and many others. He has placed articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and other major publications. An accomplished jazz pianist, he has a passion for, and encyclopedic knowledge of, American popular music in all genres — pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, and other roots music.
Among his career accomplishments, Allen has:
◊ publicized albums and tours by major international recording stars
◊ advised government agencies and politicians on crisis communications
◊ represented massive real estate development projects to the news media
◊ created Website content for small businesses and large government agencies
◊ written speeches for governors and mayors
Allen’s public relations experience was gained from more than 25 years as a communications director and spokesman for major public and private sector organizations. These include:
◊ The Port Authority of NY/NJ, where he served for a decade as lead spokesman for the World Trade Center, as well as for major transportation facilities including John F. Kennedy International Airport
◊ the New York Insurance Department, where he was a public information director
◊ The Nassau County (NY) Comptroller’s Office, where he served as communications director
His extensive crisis communications experience includes serving as a key spokesman for the Port Authority’s World Trade Center following 9/11 and the 1993 bombing of the WTC, as well as in the aftermath of air crashes and police emergencies.